EURALILLE: Centre International d’Affaires Lille, France Learning from the Reconciliation Process of Large-scale Urban Infrastructure

and Transportation Hub


Lille, a formerly significant city, was leading a slightly melancholy existence. Once a mining and textile town, it had fallen into hard times. But the tunnel between England and the continent and the TGV network will transform Lille as if by magic and make it important in a completely synthetic way. Rem Koolhaas, SMLXL, 1995

How to Master Plan Such a Successful Urban Design System? The French Way of Urban Planning

The French government implemented the concept of société d ’aménagement d ’économie mixte where private company with a public private ownership is being used for urban development projects such as Lille. Public Capitals: 51% Private Financial Investors: 49% Public Privilege: Expropriation and Subventions of any New Urban Development Proposals.

Euralille: First and second phase development mediating the city.

How Does Lille Work?

1. Transforming a former industrial city as a new business center for West Europe. 2. Intersection of major north-south and east-west axes. 3. Reduced traveling times through train and tunnel combined. 4. Center of gravity for the virtual community of 50 million Western Europeans.

Yellow Line: TGV trajectory cutting through the Lille development masterplan.

Minimizing the Importance of Distance Between Places

Hypothetically, anyone from London, Paris, or Brussels are actually ‘in’ Lille because the traveling distance form Lille – London would be faster than Kent – London, and is also closer to the city of London than traveling between London and some other parts of greater London itself. It is also much cheaper to set up a business hub in Lille than in London or Paris. By having Lille, Europe is being shrunken in terms of traveling time.




‘Shrinking Europe’: reducing traveling time across the European continent.

Why Lille Became Successful?

What is important about Lille is not where it is, but where it leads, and how quickly.

70 mins from London 50 mins from Paris 18 mins from Brussels

Master Plan

Phasing plans for an efficient master plan development process.

Master Plan

Lille’s Programmatic Distribution 1. Station Eurostar Line (TGV): London-Paris-Brussels and other major centers in France such as Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse Program: (1) Gare de Lille-Europe: Eurostar/ international and high speed trains and (2) Gare de Lille-Flandres: lower speed trains and other domestic destinations

Station - Jean-Marie Duthilleul; Office Tower - Christian de Portzamparc

Lille’s Programmatic Distribution 2. Shopping Centers

Program: 1 hypermarket (10, 000 sqm.) + 120 shops Turnover: 214 million Euro/year Visitors: 14,000/year

Commercial Center - Jean Nouvel

Lille’s Programmatic Distribution 3. Lille Grand Palais (Congrexpo) Program: 18,000 sqm. exposition arena with 5000 seats with 3 congress hall and meeting rooms Turnover: 9 million Euro/year Visitors: 1 million/year

Congrexpo - Rem Koolhaas/ OMA

Lille’s Programmatic Distribution 4. Rock Music Concert Hall Program: 1 hall with 400 seats and 1 hall with 1500 seats

5. Offices Program: 63,000 sqm. office space Occupancy: 100%

6. Hotels Program: 2 hotels with 200 rooms each

7. Accommodations Program: 700 units Occupancy: 95%

8. University 1500 students

9. Green Areas 8 hectares

10. Parking Space 6000 units

First Thing First: Infrastructure

Preparing infrastructural facilities: holistic planning approach was undertaken to make Lille a success.

A Transformed City: 15 Years After Euralille


Lille has become one of Europe’s

most important service industry

center, comprising of first class financial and commercial facilities, center for
industrial production and a world class university. 2. Euralille has transformed the city of Lille as the

new real estate, finance information technology,

and food industry distribution hub for West Europe.
3. Growth of new industries such as biomedical,

technical textile and multimedia services.
4. 5. Home for more than 30

multinational corporate companies.

Euralille Station and its strategic connectivity with other parts of
Western Europe contributed to the city and image marketing.

Future Development: Master Plan Expansion

Strategies Adopted in Master Planning

Leadership and Enforcement of a City Vision
1. 2. Strong political will to pull the city up to the rank of big international metropolises. A vision was created to decide which infrastructures and which equipments to realize and how they could meet the citizens’ needs and respond to global and sustainable development.

Identifying Axes and Priorities
1. 2. Stakeholders identify the strengths and the weaknesses of Lille Métropole before going to the actual action plan. Priorities were thus turning around sustainable development; through housing policy (social mix is a core issue), employment creation, and a renewed mobility culture, control of urban sprawl and preservation of rural spaces.

Involvement of Citizens
1. The elaboration of the Master plan has been very useful to identify strengths and weaknesses, to channel the demands and to help building a new vision for the metropolis and its citizens.

Example of Euralille’s Master Planning Success Usage by Inhabitants*

TRANSPORT MODE Walking Parking Car Bicycle Two-wheel Motorized Others


INHABITANTS’ AVERAGE USE 43% 12% 43% 1% 0% 1%

Euralille: New Development in the Centre of Lille Urban Area by Olivier Cormier (2000)


Train Network
By integrating Lille with other parts of the EU, high speed rail network, services between London and Brussels have greatly increased, whether for business or for pleasure. The result is not only in a major development in leisure tourism for the Lille metropolis through visitors from neighboring countries but also by the increasing numbers of hotels.

Shopping Center
Offers a varied range of products comparable to those sold in suburban shopping centres, but it accessibility by walking, using public transport or the car, has resulted in the inhabitants of Lille and its outlying areas modifying their shopping habits.

Homes built on the Euralille site contribute to make it as a residential area, which is attracting people more and more. New housing programmes are being completed and should contribute to intensify this aspect of the Euralille project.


(1) (2)

Koolhaas, R. & Mau, B. (1995) Quantum Leap, SMLXL, The Monacelli Press, New York. Wall, E. & Waterman, T. (2009) Basic Landscape Architecture: Urban Design, AVA Book, Switzerland.


L’Hours, C (1998) Life after Euralille : The Changing Metropolis, Agence de développement et d'urbanisme de Lille Métropole17, France.


Cormier, O. (2000) New Development In the Centre of the Lille Urban Area, the Agency for Urban Development and Town Planning in the Lille Metropolis, France.


Delpont, A. (2002) Emerging Property Development Opportunities: The Case of Lille, Urban Land Institute, France.

Hafiz Amirrol, Michael Lengkey, Chichi Asda
Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia, 2010

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