Carrefour on trial in France the design neighbourhoods of the future by developing mixed urban projects

Tim Harrup

French supermarket chain Carrefour, which also operates across the whole of Belgium, has made an announcement concerning its home market, but which marks a significant first move into the domain of ‘town planning’. It is partnering with development and urban planning company Altareato help deliver three urban development projects in Nantes, Sartrouville and Flins/Aubergenville. Carrefour co-owns these sites – totalling some 25 hectares – with shopping centre specialist Carmila – created in 2014 when Carrefour purchased some centres owned by Klépierre.

The new move, Carrefour states, aims to design the neighbourhoods of the future, working in conjunction with local authorities and elected representatives, districts that fit in with their environment, providing residents with new green living spaces and a wide range of uses. Part of the objective is also to encourage the creation of environmentally-friendly forms of mobility by having services located nearby. Carrefour says that people's lifestyles and needs have changed, and towns and cities need to evolve to keep pace with them. Within the framework of its transformation plan, Carrefour therefore states that it wants to play a key role in the urban and sustainable development of the regions in which it operates. Beyond simply providing retail services, Carrefour wants to take action to enhance people's lives in cities by developing mixed urban projects.

We asked Carrefour whether this strategy could extend to Belgium, Paul Bécaud, Director of Heritage and New Activities for the Carrefour Group, stated: “At this stage the partnership only involves France. Our objectives in creating the highest value for our assets are common to all our countries. We do not exclude that in the future this strategy may be replicated in other localities of the group, with methods/partners still to be established.