Colombes – R-Urban

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Country France
City Colombes
Name R-Urban
Date 2008
Description “R-Urban is a bottom-up strategy that explores the possibilities of enhancing the capacity of urban resilience by introducing a network of resident-run facilities to create complementarities between key fields of activity (economy, housing, urban agriculture, culture). R-Urban initiates locally closed ecological cycles that will support the emergence of alternative models of living, producing and consuming between the urban and the rural.To overcome the current crises (climate, resources, economic, demographic), we must, as philosopher Andre Gorz says, ‘produce what we consume and consume what we produce’. This balance between production and consumption through local sustainable sourcing can not occur without changes in the living and working lifestyles of citizens who must be involved in these changes through collaborative practices supporting each other through local networks. Flows, networks and circuits of production-consumption will be formed through these activities, with an emphasis on sustainability.”

“ A R-urban agency have been made to pilot the implementation of the first units of Colombes in order to catalyse creation of local production-distribution cycles, network and practices about recycling, self-construction, urban agriculture and collective housing. (…) In its initiation phase the project proposes the creation of a resilient network based around three prototype production units with complementary urban functions bringing citizens emerging projects together and actively involving local people in and around Colombes:

·       AgroCité – a unit of urban agriculture which consists of a micro-experimental farm, community gardens, educational and cultural spaces and devices for energy production, composting and rainwater recycling.·

·       RecyLab – a recycling and green building constructed around a series of equipment for the recycling of urban waste and turning them into materials for eco-construction.

·       ECoHab – a residential unit, cooperative and ecological consisting of a number of experimental units and community spaces which in part are self-built.

·       AnimaLab – a domestic farm located in the Agrocité, bend of micro-structure like beehive and chicken coop. The productions are integrate in the local distribution network through the store local shop of the agrocité.” (

The project was aimed at increasing the capacity of urban sustainabilty and resilience (self-sufficiency, production and recycling to local and regional levels, etc) on the long run. Due to political circumstances R-Urban was removed from its original area in Colombes. Nonetheless, other units of R-Urban will soon be established in different cities in France, and one of its units is already operating in London, UK.

Urban Co-Governance Strong
Enabling State Weak
Pooling Strong
Experimentalism Strong
Tech Justice
References, sources, contact person(s)

Contact :
And Doina Petrescu, architect, Professor University of Sheffield, aaa

92700 Colombes, France


Posted on

June 8, 2018