La Porte du Hainaut (FR)

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La Porte du Hainaut (FR)

Scale L, M, S –territorial, urban and architectural scales
Team representative urbanist, landscaper, architect
Location Communauté d’agglomération de La Porte du Hainaut (59), Hauts-de-France
Population Communauté d’agglomération de La Porte du Hainaut: 158,789 inhabitants
Strategic site 14 CAPH mining communities - Project sites Escautpont : 3,8 ha + Raismes : 60,6 ha + Wallers : 4,9 ha + Escaudin-Lourches : 27,5 ha

Site proposed by Communauté d’Agglomération La Porte du Hainaut
Actors involved Communauté d’Agglomération La Porte du Hainaut, CAUE du Nord, Mission Bassin Minier, landlords Maisons&Cités et SIA
Owner(s) of the site public actors

Commission after competition urban studies in collaboration with the Cities and the Communauté d’Agglomération, architectural contracts

More Information

Urban City Strategy

The reflection site includes 14 mining communities of the former mining basin of Nord-Pas de Calais in the heart of the Communauté d'Agglomération La Porte du Hainaut, west of Valenciennes.
This territory alternates urbanized spaces scattered in a rural and natural landscape marked by two centuries of coal mining.
In 2012, the Nord Pas de Calais Mining Basin was recognized and listed by UNESCO as a "living, evolving cultural landscape", a testimony to the way in which man has shaped his environment by exploiting an underground natural resource since the beginning of the 18th century: coal.
Despite significant socio-economic and environmental damage, this densely inhabited area has also managed to preserve the assets of its renewal: its memory, the bonds of solidarity typical of mining culture, as well as its built heritage, its landscape assets and its environmental capital (forest, wetlands, hydrography).
In line with the policy of urban renewal in the mining industry, which is reflected in the renovation of mining housing and the requalification of public spaces, since 2016 the Agglomeration has been engaged in a participative and shared approach to reclaim the territory, supported by programs to revitalize the economy and promote social cohesion.

Site Definition

The four project sites are located along a potentially structuring itinerary. The sites have different urban and landscape characteristics and offer several opportunities for transformation: two of them require reflection on "alternative" types of housing to current real estate products, while the other two involve the innovative design of public spaces and facilities. These sites have the advantage of being mutable in the short term, since they have already been the subject of reflection on the opportunities for their evolution and are either publicly owned or in the process of being acquired.

How Must Metabolism and Inclusivity Be Developed and Connected?

The living city is represented here by the "mining vine". This is a concept, an image-guide forged by the Mission Bassin Minier to rethink and recompose this territory on the basis of its historical, urban and landscape realities, in order to revive its attractiveness and bring a better life to its inhabitants. Potentially made up of places (mining towns, headframes, former mining buildings, natural sites) and links (former mining cavaliers or railroads, a forest roads), this "vine" could complete, on a local/intermediate scale, the framework of the major territorial infrastructures (hydrographic, rail, road systems) and would be designed to improve the structuring, use and image of a network of urban centralities, residential districts, public spaces, facilities, etc., at the benefit of its inhabitants.
The organic image of the mining vine, which guides the evolution of the structuring of the territory of the mining basin at different scales, allows us to rethink mining towns and new districts as clusters, nature areas, slag heaps and old mining wastelands requalified as leaves, mining cavaliers or railroads, forest driveway and canals as branches, etc.
With its natural and cultural landscapes, the (post)mining territory offers the potential to develop complex ecosystems, bringing together the human and the non-human. Europan projects will be an opportunity to regenerate and better manage territorial resources (soil, forest, water, built and cultural heritage, etc.), as well as to reconnect places, encourage sociability, and foster the health and well-being of inhabitants.

Questions on the site

Hello, is it possible to have the map (cadastral data, buildings, plots, etc.) covering the territory of La Porte du Hainaut in DWG file? 


A DWG file containing the cadastral maps of the 47 municipalities of the agglomeration is available for download in the file "0-New_Docs_after_Launch" of the complete site folder. 


Would it be possible to have the precise layout (additional layer) of the mining trellis on the DWG file provided from the CAPH territory? 

A new file will be provided shortly.

Is there an inventory (list and map) of the tree heritage (protected, classified trees, etc.) at the scale of the CAPH and the four proposed sites? Could you send it to us?

The presentation report of the PLUi is a source of information at the level of the CAPH (particularly the section on the initial state of the environment).

If there are classified trees (or protected natural heritage) under article L. 159-19 of the urban planning code, these are listed in the booklet and the plan of the PPAUP of the PLUi. 

PLUi can be downloaded from the agglomeration's website:

Is there an inventory (list and map) of biodiversity (animal and plant species protected, threatened, endangered, etc.) at the level of the CAPH and the four proposed sites? Could you send it to us?

Information not available.

Would it be possible to have the maps, sections etc. (in dwg, jpeg, etc.), and the explicative notice (floor covering, furniture, etc.) and any other element of the development project of the gueules noires (near the Escaupont site)?

The site does not have this information.

Why is the housing operation (of which the DWG has been provided) slated for demolition on the Escaupont site?

The dilapidated state of the housing, and the increase in the number of undisciplined landlords, have led the elected officials to want to control this building complex and to imagine new constructions on this site in the heart of the town. The EPF intervention generally foresees a demolition of the dilapidated buildings, however in this case it is left to the appreciation of the candidates.

Would it be possible to have a map of the polluted sites at the scale of the CAPH and the 4 sites?

No mapping available.

Hello, would it be possible to provide a new dxf or dwg file for the Escaupont site? We can't open it. Thank you in advance.

A new file will be provided shortly.

What is the genesis of the trellis figure? When, how and by whom was it developed?

The figure of the trellis was created by the Mission Bassin Minier. Cf. Technical notebook "Les paysages du Bassin minier Nord - Pas de Calais" in the appendix to the site brief or via the following link:

Who owns the elements of the mining landscape (slag heap, headframe, cavalier, pits...)? Which structures are in charge of maintenance and management?

There are different cases: the Department, the cities, the ONF... can be owners.

How were the project perimeters defined, particularly concerning project sites n°1 (Escaupont) and n°2 (Escaudain-Lourches)? Should we stick strictly to the perimeter of the identified site? Or can we go beyond this perimeter?

The possible extension of the intervention perimeter is left to the discretion of the candidates. However, in Schneider the land dedicated to urban extensions is bound by the PLUi and therefore spatially limited.

Why include in the intervention perimeters projects that are already well advanced (e.g. thermal renovation of the Schneider housing estate that has already begun (site 2), demolition of workers' housing (site 1)? Can the course of these projects still be influenced within the framework of Europan (e.g.: site 1, site 2)?

In the case of site 1 Escautpont this is possible, however the rehabilitation of the mining dwellings of site 2 having effectively started, and the demolitions having been arbitrated, the expectation is focused on the land bases free of projects, as well as on the stakes of connection to the mining trellis.

Are there soil pollution studies on the proposed project sites?


Have there been any examples of actions within the CAPH that have encouraged residents of mining estates to take control of their living environment (participative workcamps, garden maintenance, collective workshops, consultations, participative housing, shared gardens, urban walks, various workshops, etc.)? If so, with what results?

Worksites schools (in Sabatier) and citizen projects in particular around gardening with SIA Habitat (23-tier-lieu) have been developed.

SITE 1 - ESCAUPONT: Who managed the maintenance of the gardens adjoining the workers' housing estate (shared management between the inhabitants, individual management, management by the landlord, management by an association etc.)?

Individual management by each owner.

SITE 1 - ESCAUPONT: Is there a demand for business premises/workshops/offices in the commune?

Information unavailable.

SITE 1 - ESCAUPONT + SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - LOURCHES: Concerning the public facilities to be created, have recommendations been made in the past?


SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - L.: The document relating to the O.A.P-P mentions the objective of creating 423 dwellings, requiring an additional land of 11 ha; How was this objective defined? Have densification hypotheses also been considered?

The objective has been defined in terms of the overall construction objective for the conurbation, with the population maintained or increased depending on the location of the municipalities in the urban fabric. The 11 hectares of urban extension in Lourches are needed in addition to the areas identified in the urban envelope to achieve the objective of 423 housing units on the basis of 25 units per hectare. There is nothing to prevent the study of densification hypotheses.


SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - L.: As the Cité Schneider straddles three municipalities (Escaudain, Lourches and Roeulx), why not also include part of the municipality of Roeulx in the project site area?

The intervention of the CAPH in terms of urban renewal focuses on the treatment of priority neighborhoods of the city policy, as such only a fringe of the commune of Roeulx is concerned.

SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - L.: The urban study of the Schneider district in Escaudain, Roeulx and Lourches mentions several hypotheses (school location, partial demolitions, possible demolitions, etc.); what hypotheses can we base ourselves on? Which hypotheses have been retained? Is this study still relevant?

As for the school, the hypothesis finally retained was to keep the existing school, with an extension on the site and the securing of its access (resumption of the parvis).

SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - L.: Why include in the intervention perimeter projects that are already advanced in their development: renovation / demolition in progress, posting and construction facility on site etc.? Is it possible to question these projects in the Europan process, or even to formulate new proposals?

The urban renewal of the Schneider priority district has begun, the rehabilitation of part of the HLM housing stock has started and the CAPH is going to launch its works contract in July for the requalification of public spaces and roads and utilities, so the expectations of the local authorities are to concentrate on sites that are free of occupation.

SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - L.: How were the inhabitants of the mining cités accompanied during the rehousing phase?

The social landlord, in conjunction with the municipality, has appointed a social pilot and a team to support the rehousing of the households, in line with the settlement policy of the agglomeration.

SITE 2 - ESCAUDAIN - L.: Has this operation aroused a significant mobilization of the inhabitants within the framework of the consultation?

Medium mobilization.

SITE 3 - RAISMES: Who manages the Leisure and Nature Park (external manager, private etc.)? Who maintains and manages the part to be developed with the water features and slag heaps?

The management of the park is entrusted by the CAPH to the tourist office. The management and maintenance of the part to be developed (water and slag heap) is either communal, or to the ONF. (A map of the land will be provided, pending).

SITE 3 - RAISMS: Are there any projects in progress concerning the Princess' castle, currently inaccessible to the population?

No definite projects at this time.

SITE 3 - RAISMES: What is planned for the partially disused buildings to the south of the leisure center and Rue des Chateaux?

No definite projects at this time.

SITE 4 - WALLERS: Is it possible to get more information about the engineer's house park which is inaccessible at this time? Plans etc.?

Mapping will be provided shortly.

SITE 4 - WALLERS: What expansion needs (number of classrooms, number of students, etc.) for the École Mixte Bosquet and the nursery school?

Currently there are 8 elementary classes, with a projected need for 2 additional classes; for kindergarten there are 11 classes, with an estimated need for 3 additional classes.

SITE 4 - WALLERS: Have the needs in terms of extension of school facilities (and sports facilities?) been quantified at the scale of the Porte du Hainaut? Are they located? Is it possible in this case to communicate these needs? and a first identification?

This exercise was not carried out on the scale of La Porte du Hainaut.

Can you provide a guide plan that groups the 4 sites included in the study site. Each of the sites has a specific project. To what degree of detail is it expected that the links between the four sites will be developed?

This is left to the discretion of the candidates.

We need clarification on the "limit" of our site, indeed there are inconsistencies between the limits in the site brief and the elements of the urban study of BLAU, eg, the project of the school, in the study, 4 scenarios are mentioned, but sometimes the school is located in a place where we are not supposed to demolish?

The original school of the district is finally preserved.

In general, can you clarify what the boundaries of the sites are, and what is the meaning of the areas included in the white dotted lines of the site brief?

The yellow perimeters (project sites) and the red perimeter (study site) follow the general Europan regulations. As for site n°2, an overall project is requested on the yellow perimeter, aiming at reinforcing the links between the Cité Schneider and the city center of Lourches, while the white dotted lines suggest rapidly operational project sectors.

Should we make a detailed proposal concerning the houses that are to be destroyed but that are not included in this white dotted perimeter? More generally, what are our intervention sites and to what extent should we act?

  1. No. 
  2. The yellow perimeters (project sites) and the red perimeter (study site) follow the general Europan regulations. As for site n°2, an overall project is requested on the yellow perimeter, aiming at reinforcing the links between the Cité Schneider and the city center of Lourches, while the white dotted lines suggest rapidly operational project sectors. Other options are left to the candidates' discretion.


The hypothesis of renovation in "Energie Sprong" announced was no longer current, is it expected to integrate this "innovative" renovation anyway?

This is left to the discretion of the candidates.

What room for manoeuvre and creative freedom do we have? Can we envisage more demolitions, or on the contrary more renovation? How far can we go? Can we plan demolitions to recover green corridors, or retrocede private right-of-way to the cities - like the widening of roads already proposed?

This is left to the discretion of the candidates.

It also seems that not everything is current in the documents provided. The preliminary declarations for phase 1 and the projected demolitions have advanced since the documents were written, should they be taken into account?

Case-by-case information is provided in the answers to the questions.

This site is connected to the following theme

Transforming from the Infrastructures

On these sites, the impetus for the transformation comes from the territory and from the use of all the resources (natural, ecological, infrastructural) to regenerate them.
Here, the starter for a change is the evolution of the networks integrating a new logic of mobility.

Specific documents

Questions on the site

Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers

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Strategic site
Project sites in Wallers (upper left), Escautpont (lower left) and Escaudain-Lourches (right)
Project site in Raismes
The Arenberg mining center in Wallers
Les corons of the Cité Schneider
View from the Cité Schneider slag heap
The leisure center of Raismes
The mining trellis
Urban context of the CAPH