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Paris Unveiled First Zero-Carbon Neighbourhood

Paris’ 19th arrondissement has recently witnessed the inauguration of its first carbon-neutral neighborhood, known as the Îlot Fertile (Fertile Isle). Comprising four buildings, the residential complex is equipped with housing units, hotels, shops, offices, sports facilities, and remarkably, zero parking spaces.

What was once a degraded industrial space located between railway tracks, covering an area of 1.3 hectares, has been transformed into a sustainable and multi-functional urban space, demonstrating that even in small areas, it is possible to adhere to sustainable standards and create viable communities. With the 15-minute city concept already in play, the development of Fertile Isle could lead to the emergence of a 2-minute city concept.

Zero-carbon thinking is ingrained into its every fibre

Every facet of the neighbourhood conforms to sustainable and low-carbon practices.

The layout and design of the buildings have been carefully considered to limit energy requirements for heating, cooling and lighting as much as possible. On-site energy production is planned with bio-solar roofs of 1,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels, naturally cooled by the various plants also present on the roofs.

The construction itself used locally sourced materials or low-carbon concrete. All of the buildings are equipped with an innovative heat recovery system. Pumps capture the heat from gray water (wastewater from showers or dishwashers) in order to transform it into energy to supply the hot water networks. Once cold, this same wastewater will pass under the pedestrian walkway to join the chilled water loop used to cool the offices.

Cars have not been included in the mobility plans in any way. Instead, a soft mobility track connects the buildings to the nearby RER E station of regional trains, as well as to the tram station. The track itself will be the property of the municipality.

In addition, with its public garden, its bio-solar vegetated roofs, its planted terraces and its vegetable gardens shared with almost 30 fruit trees, the Fertile Isle offers a habitat for the local flora and fauna.

Insect hotels, bat houses on the roof and even a dry stone wall to accommodate lizards have been installed. Birdhouses are integrated into the facades. For swifts, in particular, birds which refuse to settle in unfamiliar habitats, dedicated soundtracks were released just before the mating season to lure them into the nest boxes.

To meet its carbon commitments to the City of Paris, Linkcity (the property developer) has already planned preventive monitoring of the various buildings, in particular for monitoring consumption and the operation of heat pumps.

For ten years, the developer undertakes to follow the life of the district and testify to the City whether the commitments in terms of social integration and sustainable development are being followed.

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