Feyzin is a small city with a little more than 9300 inhabitants located South of Lyon. It can be divided into three distinct forms of land use of almost equal area: housing, industry (as for example a Total refinery), and natural and green spaces with a total area of 426 hectares. These green spaces include urban parks (such as “Trois Cerisiers”, “Europe” and the Town Hall Park) and other areas such as the woods surrounding the Castle in the heart of the city, the agricultural upland called “Grandes Terres”, the Guinet Pool and the wooded banks of the River Rhône.
Feyzin has developed a rich commercial life, and stands as an attractive and dynamic city since it possesses five primary schools, one high school, a multimedia library, two stadiums, a cultural center including, a locally famous auditorium, a summer swimming pool, a music school, 90 associations, six district councils, a social centre and a community centre.
In 2004 the city launched a “local green plan” which defining an annual programme of actions to be undertaken to improve the quality of life (landscape function of green spaces), as well as protection and promotion of biodiversity (ecological function of the green infrastructure). The aim is to integrate green spaces as a part of urban development, through a global and coherent project which integrates the ecological corridors.
Feyzin’s green plan is threefold. The first part of the local green plan dealt with a situation analysis. It helped define the landscape’s identity, its characteristics, potential and dynamics. This “evaluation” made it possible to obtain a detailed image of the different characteristics of Feyzin’s landscape and lifestyle. A complete report listing both assets and weaknesses for each of the specific landscapes was established to serve as basis to help define stakes and actions. The second part helps defining “Feyzin’s stakes” regarding green infrastructure development on the basis of the evaluation. It brings together the different stakes listed in several urban development documents: Territorial Development Policy, the Territorial Coherence Scheme, the Land Use Planning, as well as their impact on Feyzin. The third and last part is more operational and defines the program of actions to be undertaken in order to achieve the intended goals. This program is updated yearly and brings coherence to the actions of the different partners on the territory.
The result is a reference document (the local green plan) that promotes a transversal vision of the municipality, making the link between urban development and the green corridor network, and whose main objective is to integrate nature in the town’s urban planning. This formalised document enables the town of Feyzin to stress the importance of urban nature, both with its institutional partners (including the Greater Lyon conurbation in the context of the current revision of the local development plan) and with private-sector stakeholders (for example working with real estate developers to incorporate ideas and measures favouring biodiversity in local construction projects). The document thus serves as a basis for on-going discussions and clearly states the municipality’s position regarding environmental and urban planning to partners and stakeholders.
The green plan has enabled the municipality to provide a coherent and comprehensive approach to the integration of green spaces management in its urban policies and action. This has resulted for instance in the implementation of a natural pool in the Trois cerisiers park, the landscaping of the Forêt de Razes with endemic tree species characteristic for the Rhône Valle,y and the restoration of nature and biodiversity on a number of brownfield areas.
Skills and Knowledge
The overall vision and orientation was based on various assessment surveys of the municipality, in the field of urban planning, landscape management and biodiversity. These were compared with more general planning documents such as the national territorial planning directive (DTA), municipal coherence scheme (SCOT) and local development plan (PLU). For the most part, the surveys and urban planning documents were drawn up by specialist consultants (urban planners, architects, landscaped designers and naturalists), then compiled into the “Green Plan” by the town of Feyzin’s multidisciplinary environment team Cadre de Vie, which covers the fields of town planning, land management, urban development, green spaces and environmental protection.
The green plan enables a regular programming of ecological and landscape improvements such as in the Razes forest: for example the planting of typical Rhone valley trees, and the recycling of vacant lots to preserve biodiversity in zones of technological risk.