Gardens of Issy-les Moulineaux (Eiffage Construction) ©Barriquand 

Sustainable cities - a convergence of environmental, economic and social environement


The Grenelle de l’Environnement debates advocated a revolution in planning practices, particularly urban. The challenge is two-fold: we must move towards systemic city analysis and design solutions to address different and interdependent issues. 

As a key player in urban construction, Eiffage is aware of its responsibility and deploys a research programme applied to managing change in its businesses to reduce the ecological footprint of operations based on a sustainable economic and social model.

The Group contributes to the emergence of sustainable cities in France and abroad through various initiatives. These include Phosphore, the prospective research programme on sustainable cities created in 2007, the Astainable® urban design software solution that brings the excellence of the French urban development offering to the international markets, and the sustainable urban development design methodology Haute Qualité de Vie® (high quality of life).

Whether we call them post-carbon, low-carbon or smart cities, tomorrow's sustainable and attractive cities must above all meet the challenge of adapting to the consequences of climate change and the profound sociological changes taking place.


Phosphore: the Eiffage sustainable urban development program

As a territorial stakeholder and builder of cities, Eiffage looks ahead, focusing R&D on new, less emissive construction methods and processes as well as a truly global approach to sustainable urban development. Beyond mere technological progress, the aim is to anticipate how cities must adapt to the impacts of climate and social changes.

Phosphore, Eiffage's sustainable urban development research programme, is at the centre of this strategy to change the Group's businesses and its offering for city stakeholders. It aims to design and implement innovations for the benefit of the cities of tomorrow.

Site Phosphore


For more than six years, engineers from all Group divisions have worked with city, climate and social science experts to devise and design innovative, sustainable solutions for mobility, housing and space planning.


The HQVie® construction methodology, compatible with existing sustainable construction standards

logo hqvie

The HQVie® standards have also incorporated property ecodesign, ecoconstruction and eco-management, as well as the status and performance indicators, given their relevance to environmental requirements.

The Group strives to enhance these environmental themes to deliver a more global, less sequenced and therefore more coherent approach. Good mobility management, social and human dimensions, and monitoring, educating and supporting changes in human behaviour are all considered key components in project design.

The Eiffage Business Park (ZAC) in Asnières: a sustainable and innovative area near Paris.


ZAC Asnière
Image © L'Autre Image

Designed with the High Quality of Life principles, the urban project prioritizes the Human population and Use. The Universal Hall (a place for meetings and encounters), a range of no carbon mobility, shared or public green areas and active educational spaces will offer a peaceful living environment to the 25,000 inhabitants and/or employees of this sustainable area.
Concerning the energetic point, the Eiffage Group continues to pursue its 70% aim of renewable energies as well as an ongoing reflection on the implementation of heat network geothermal energy in the sustainable area.
This solution will work for energy solidarity between the programs and will considerably reduce the user’s energy bill.
In the heart of the community, Eiffage, in partnership with MUGO, is working on the integration of urban gardening projects: among them are shared vegetable gardens, urban gardens, private terraces, green roofs, compost at the foot of the buildings and supply networks with local farmers.

Smartseille: the innovative, benchmark ÉcoCité operation 

Today, the 112th village of Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), the Smartseille eco-district –which played host to the first two sessions of the Phosphore programme from 2007 to 2009- is becoming a reality. The project, initiated in 2009, embodies the convergence of a sustainable territorial development process spearheaded by the city of Marseille through the Euroméditerranée project, with Eiffage, a key player in sustainable urban development.

This pioneering eco-district project is an experimental territory, both in terms of its design method and the innovations it will accommodate.

Picture from the smartseille eco-district interactive demonstrator ©Eiffage-Enodo 

The exemplary nature of the demonstrator district goes beyond a mere display of environmental performance. With regard for the local context and specificities, it stands out as a global operation in favour of community life, implementing low cost / easy tech solutions already identified as reproducible on construction projects in the Cité de la Méditerranée mixed development zone (ZAC).

More generally, as part of the operation of national interest, the demonstrator is positioned as a benchmark project, a source of best practices and tangible and intangible innovations capable of being reproduced in the city and throughout the Mediterranean region.

As such, the smartseille+ proposal for future developments in Marseille won the "Industrial demonstrators for sustainable cities" call for projects jointly initiated by the French Ministries for Ecology and Housing. It will be one of the first projects to showcase France's expertise in sustainable urban development, selected by the new Sustainable City Institute, formed on 23 December 2015.

Ecoquartier 1
Picture from the smartseille eco-district interactive demonstrator ©Eiffage-Enodo 

Phosphore's five eco-district commandments, applied to Marseille 

A systemic approach to sustainable urban development

The Smartseille eco-district is the operational demonstrator of the Phosphore approach by Eiffage, i.e. a systemic approach to sustainable urban development addressing all urban ecosystem components (energy, construction, mobility, uses, environmental services) and integrating the impacts of climate change and sociological transformations that generate new life paths.

Design centred on people and uses

Smartseille sets out to demonstrate the Haute Qualité de Vie® (high quality of life) construction methodology. The overall design and the chosen solutions have all been studied with regard for uses rather than the technical solutions per se. Selected solutions therefore seek to foster social, generational and building diversity, to promote social cohesion and support new styles of life and work.

Respect for territorial specificities or the "spirit of the place"

This bespoke project is tailored to the specific features of the territory. It integrates the Mediterranean geographic/climatic context, the social and economic context, and the area's local urban development.

Driving innovation via a partnership ecosystem

The eco-district is an incubator of innovative solutions and a demonstrator of France's leading sustainable city expertise. It brings together a vast partnership ecosystem including public authorities (Government, council, urban community, Euromed planning company), major corporations, SMBs, innovating start-ups and community organisations (LPO, Humanité et Biodiversité).

Integrating an open-ended project into a fast-changing urban area

The project is open-ended and will permeate future sustainable urban development in the Euroméditerannée area. It aims to demonstrate France's sustainable city know-how, with international outreach.

Ecoquartier 3
Picture from the smartseille eco-district interactive demonstrator©Eiffage-Enodo