The construction of a new eco-district in Nice Ecovallée will begin in 2024 in La Gaude

The development of the ZAC Le Hameau de La Baronne in La Gaude (Alpes-Maritimes) will be launched in 2024

The development of the ZAC Le Hameau de La Baronne in La Gaude, within the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis and on the perimeter of the OIN Ecovallée, will be launched in 2024.

The prefectural decree signed on August 4, 2023, validates the public facilities program for the ZAC Le Hameau de La Baronne and initiates the development phase of this future strategic EcoDistrict for the town of La Gaude (06).

The EPA Nice Ecovallée is involved in this project to ensure harmonious and high-quality development, the establishment of housing including social housing, and the construction of suitable infrastructure.

Uniquely conducted under the principle of the ZAC with participation, the initial construction is set to begin in 2024 with the first deliveries expected in 2026.

The La Gaude town hall, the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis, and the EPA Nice Ecovallée have teamed up, through a partnership protocol signed in March 2020, for the design of a harmonious urban project in the Hameau de La Baronne area.

The mission of the EPA Nice Ecovallée as a developer is notably to act as a coordinator to ensure a collaborative project, and to address the following main challenges:

  • The improvement and development of infrastructure to promote peaceful traffic flow;
  • The development of high-quality public spaces that connect with the existing hamlet while respecting the site’s identity;
  • The enhancement of natural and landscaped areas, especially through the creation of green public spaces.

For this purpose, in collaboration with the municipality, the EPA Nice Ecovallée initiated, from the start of the development project, extensive consultations involving the public and stakeholders of the future district.

Public meetings, workshops, exploratory walks, exhibitions, information brochures; this two-year consultation allowed the residents of La Gaude to share their strong expectations for the future of the hamlet.

Ambiance Perspectives - Credit Richez Associés & Pena Paysages.
Ambiance Perspectives – Credit Richez Associés & Pena Paysages.

A unique approach to ZAC with participation

The Hameau de La Baronne project, due to its context and specificities, led the EPA Nice Ecovallée and its partners to prioritize the principle of partial land control, also called “ZAC with participation,” a unique approach for the territory. Indeed, the area was already buildable but lacked facilities, and the land registry provided a design compatible with the conception of a coherent urban project.

Thus, landowners who wish to do so will have the opportunity to sell directly to developers for the realization of real estate projects, in accordance with the rules defined by the EPA. Since its initiation of the operation, the EPA maintains a regular relationship with landowners and titled developers, in particular to assist them in realizing their project within the development operation.

A rehabilitation of existing facilities in a neighborhood that retains the village spirit

The project management of the neighborhood was entrusted to the consortium Richez Associés (architect and urban planner), Pena Paysages (landscaper), Setec International (VRD), Franck Boutté Associés (environment and energy), and Urbanwater (hydraulic strategy).

The development of public spaces is one of the priority challenges of the project led by the EPA to ensure accessibility and smooth movement within the neighborhood.

The existing public facilities are enhanced with a new square in front of the school and a commercial square near the La Baronne road.

The development of these public spaces and facilities, supported by a significant pedestrian network, allows for a dynamic and commercial neighborhood life in a tree-lined and pleasant space, faithful to its landscape and agricultural heritage, with the aim of preserving its village spirit.

The transport routes will be strengthened to accommodate the residents of the approximately 570 new homes: the road connection of the La Baronne road (RM2209), direct with Nice, is accompanied by the implementation of public transport and an overall improvement of the roads. Soft modes of transportation will also be strongly favored (creation of pedestrian paths and bike lanes).

A bioclimatic and landscaped neighborhood

Committed to the EcoDistrict approach, the project places great emphasis on landscape integration, water management, and bioclimatism.

The location of the neighborhood, at the intersection of the hills and the La Baronne road, offers varied living spaces and landscapes. Benefiting from strong identity elements to be enhanced, each relief has adapted architecture that preserves the views and adapts to the site’s imperatives (conservation of terraced walls and terraced orchards, leveling of surfaces on the hillsides).

As a result of consultation with the site’s residents, a large landscaped park located at the heart of the project ensures a north/south pedestrian connection within the neighborhood. Its role is multifaceted: it creates a calming meeting and strolling place, preserves existing species, and plays a technical role in managing rainwater.

Development Principles

Public spaces are envisioned as tools for managing rainwater with infiltration and retention areas to limit downstream flow.

The buildings meet objectives of simplicity and energy resilience inspired by nature according to the concept of Mediterranean urbanism: they are positioned based on exposure, shade, and wind to ensure the coolness of the dwellings.

All projects will comply with the Ecovallée Quality environmental standard. Created by the EPA Nice Ecovallée in 2013 in collaboration with ADEME, and made mandatory under the metropolitan local urban plan, it sets the environmental performance objectives to be achieved by operators, both private and public, within the framework of development and construction projects carried out within Nice Écovallée. Specifically created for the Plaine du Var territory, it contains ambitious performance objectives in terms of landscape and biodiversity, comfort, energy, water, waste, and transportation.

Key dates of the operation

  • March 7, 2019: Initiation of the operation at the Board of Directors of the EPA Nice Ecovallée
  • March 2, 2020: Signing of the partnership protocol with the Municipality and the Metropolis
  • July 21, 2021: Favorable opinion from the environmental authority on the draft creation file and its impact study
  • October 7, 2021: Approval of the consultation report
  • May 31, 2022: Prefectural decree creating the ZAC
  • September 23, 2022: Submission of the implementation file to the environmental authority
  • June 13, 2023: Favorable opinion from the municipality on the PEP (public facilities program)
  • August 4, 2023: Prefectural decree approving the public facilities program

The Hameau de La Baronne – Facts and Figures

  • Project Management: Richez Associés, Pena Paysages, Setec International, Franck Boutté Associés, and Urbanwater.
  • A project covering approximately 15 hectares, which is approximately 45,600 square meters of floor area.
  • 41,500 square meters of housing, which equates to approximately 570 housing units, including 35% designated as social housing.
  • 1,500 square meters of Gross Floor Area (SDP) for local shops and services
  • 2,600 square meters of public facilities

Nice Ecovallée – Nice Côte d’Azur

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