Goussainville (FR)


Category Urban – architectural


Location Communauté Agglomération Roissy Porte de France, Goussainville (95190)

Population Town of Goussainville 31,390 inhab. - CA Roissy Porte de France 87,514 inhab.

Strategic site 922 ha - Project site 52 ha

Site proposed by CA Roissy Porte de France, Town of Goussainville

Owner(s) of the site Town of Goussainville, private

Commision after competition Management of the architectural and/or urban project with partners


Team representative architect - urban planner - landscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to the adaptable city?

A member of Europan 12 for the community of Fosses, the Communauté d’Agglomération Roissy Porte de France is repeating its participation in the adaptable city competition, with a subject hitherto little explored: an old village, in a location affected by airport, metropolitan and agricultural influences. Affected by the presence of Charles de Gaulle Airport, the built fabric of the old village of Goussainville has been frozen for more than 40 years. Because of the Noise Exposure Plan (PEB), no new populations are allowed to settle there; and because of the protected perimeter around the church, none of the buildings can be demolished. As a result, numerous buildings are currently walled up, or in an advanced stage of dilapidation. Nonetheless, approximately 300 people still live in the village. The PEB’s regulations offer possibilities for development which, in the absence of an overview, have not been exploited. The Europan competition therefore offers an opportunity to develop forward-looking projects in a territory that is caught between times, spaces and lifestyles: between yesterday and tomorrow, between here and elsewhere, between rootedness and nomadism. A symbol of the adaptable city, subject to some of the toughest constraints found in the vicinity of a big city, can the old village be regenerated and restrictions turned into advantages?

City strategy

A strategic economic territory north of Grand Paris, Grand-Roissy is currently the focus of several studies seeking improvements in the urban connections, greater urban integration of the airport platform, a better balance between habitat and activities and better management of space and natural resources.
Situated immediately adjacent to the “airport city”, at one of the only two entries to Goussainville, full of landscape and architectural qualities which protected it from demolition when the airport was built, the historic village has the potential of becoming a unifying element amidst the surrounding urban archipelagoes, with the capacity to change perceptions of an area too often considered as a “support function”. The Municipality is therefore looking for projects with a vision for the future, that will support the transition from a hypo-metropolitan space to a hyper-metropolitan space.

Site definition

The project site corresponds to the historical village of Goussainville, also called the “old country”. Nestled in the Croult Valley, a small indirect tributary of the Seine, the village forms an island in the heart of a highly dynamic territory. To the west, an extension of the historical village, now a town centre, has developed on the plateau along the Paris-Lille railway line, now essentially used by the RER D regional express. The new Northern High-Speed line runs along the eastern end of the site. To the east, Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, the world’s third biggest in terms of passenger flows and world number one for airfreight, is an interregional employment hub. To the north, the territory is connected to the Paris “orbital expressway”, also called “la Francilienne”. Finally, a major multimodal freight project (air/TGV) called “CAREX” is due to be located on the eastern part of the site. However, these infrastructures also cause a number of problems: spatial segmentation, urban isolation, noise exposure and atmospheric pollution. Today, the Noise Exposure Plan sets a population cap of around 300. The village has a garage, a carpentry business, a school, a few community premises and also the village hall, which is used by all the inhabitants. Despite the strong constraints, the village is still a sought-after place to live.

Future of the site in relation to the site family and Adaptability

The connection with the adaptable city theme takes a number of forms:

- providing a structure that will place the village within a wider territorial network; considering the infrastructural links but also the more local networks, such as hiking trails;
- exploiting the existing landscape qualities, integrating the river valley into ideas for walking and cycling routes, and the connection with the surrounding entities;
- thinking about heritage in the process of village transformation (landscape & urban heritage, vernacular architectural heritage, 12th century church...);
- thinking about forms of occupancy compatible with the Noise Exposure Plan and atmospheric pollution; thinking about the question of residential and dormitory housing in relation to the proximity of the airport and the associated activities;
- imagining village revitalisation, proposing programs in synergy with the economic dynamics at work in the territory. Proposing appropriate uses for certain places identified as crucial: the château, the stables, the park;
- including the village population in a process of shared village transformation. Proposing ways of life appropriate to the territory;
- taking into account public land ownership in the project process;
- imagining new integrated project processes, influenced by new uses and new activities, as a way of establishing a role model for many old localities that have become inert because of a complete upheaval in their environment, particularly their incorporation into metropolitan space.

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