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Culture and Creativity

Grand Paris Sud: a tailor-made city renewal

Behaviour-based and dynamic urban planning.

Type of project :
Size of city/region:
Person walking through a park

Kay facts

Architecture studios:  ATELIER ET-SI, Atelier de l’Ours, Bellastock, Constructo skateparkarchitecture, Elodie CAVEL & Isabelle JEGO, Monono, PALM (Peint à la Main), Studio KATRA, Stany Boulifard (4PK), Quatorze, YA+K

Main sponsor: City of Evry-Courcouronnes and Grand Paris Sud agglomeration

Year completed: ongoing

Total area: approximately 25ha

City / regional background

Grand Paris Sud Seine-Essonne-Senart (Grand Paris Sud) is an urban agglomeration located in the southern part of the Ile-de-France region, 30 km south of Paris. It is composed of 23 municipalities including Évry-Courcouronnes (67 000 inhabitants). Evry is one of the 5 new towns around Paris, which were rapidly urbanised after 1970. In 2019, Evry and the small town next to it, Courcouronnes, merged into one municipality. Although a major economic centre with 143 000 jobs, Evry-Courcouronnes suffers from an overall image deficit which harms its economic attractiveness. Local surveys connect the lack of enthusiasm and lack of a sense of conviviality to the absence of a real city centre.

To tackle this challenge, the city, and Grand Paris Sud, have been developing a comprehensive strategy since 2019 to strengthen the conviviality of Évry-Courcouronnes city centre and to transform both the user experience and the economic image of this destination. This partnership, together with residents, students, public and private employees in the area, conducted a social and urban diagnosis which led to a master plan in 2021.


Since the renovation of major cultural facilities (auditorium, food court, media library and cinema) will only be delivered from 2028, the city and agglomeration decided to act proactively on the rest of the city-centre, by testing tactical town planning approaches.

Transitory urban planning, prior to important renewal and construction works, is a way of reinventing urban life by gradually experimenting with what the city centre of tomorrow could be. This behaviour-focused approach involves observing user needs and expectations to imagine new light urban facilities adapted to the context and actual uses. These can be moved, adjusted, or perpetuated if they receive validation from the public. They may also be removed if they do not prove to tackle the challenges.

10 public spaces in Evry-Courcouronnes were revitalised in 4 years, with new features such as open spaces for students to gather, street furniture, revegetation, floor paintings, sports and leisure facilities, an open exhibition space, and an “Art Du Deplacement” (similar to parkour) practice area.

The transformations received positive feedback from residents, employees, students, and organisations involved in the collaborations. Not only has tactical planning resulted in an increase in the number of public space users but it has also improved relationships between people and the institutions.

Criteria for high-quality (context, sense of place, diversity, beauty)

  • Transitory urban transformation operates using cheap and fast planning, based on existing publics spaces and with light facilities. Each intervention is specific to the context.
  • Multiple consultations with inhabitants, users, shop owners and management services, provided an overview of the constraints of each space and helped design the best adapted solutions in terms of location, uses, typology of intervention, plant variety etc.
  • Transitory urban planning considers the point of view of multiple users of the territory (businesses, employees, students, residents). It provides an operational understanding of their aspirations, expectations, and difficulties. It allows for experimentation with rapid responses to local issues or new uses of public space
  • This methodology makes it possible to build the city as a succession of experimentations. Considering the perceptions of various groups (residents, businesses, students, or workers), it transforms city planning from a top-down model to an experience and emotion-based approach.

Planning and management

The initiative is managed by Grand Paris Sud (1 part time staff member), and the city of Évry-Courcouronnes (3 part time staff members).

Partners include: ENSIIE engineering school, art and design section at the Georges Brassens high school, Architectural, Essonne’s Urban Planning and Environmental Advice agency (CAUE91), Art Du Deplacement Academy Evry, Grand Paris Sud art learning centre, Etoile Fab Lab, Pariciflore local plant nursery, local artists from “La cité des Artistes”, la Fabrik.

Budget and financing

Total budget: €425 000

Grand Paris Sud: €200 000 were funded by Grand Paris Sud (including €100 000 from the Ile-de-France region) and €225 000 from Evry-Courcouronnes (including €180 000 from the Essonne Prefecture).

Transferable ideas

3 tips from the city/region

  • Use tactical urbanism not only as a temporary occupation, but as light, cheap, and fast experimentations, to design a fair master plan.
  • Relying on the existing environment allow smooth transformations.
  • Build cross interactions (with the inhabitants, actives forces and within your organisation) not only during the project, but also before and after.

Contact information

Contact Grand Paris Sud via email.