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Cosmopole project

A project proposed by Ministry of Ecological Transition Ecocité program

Buildings Sustainable economy Local life


Specialist :  Sophie Robin, In charge of public land and development tools – Ministry of Ecological Transition
Contact : 



In the face of the land inflation that is affecting the heart of the Lille metropolis, the Solidarity land organization / Real Solidarity Lease (OFS/BRS in French) scheme makes it possible to develop a sustainable supply of affordable housing for social homeownership (with a framework of resale conditions and capital gains) for households that would not be able to afford it on the open market in a central district.

These 15 Real Solidarity Lease (RSL) dwellings are part of a mixed program on the site of the former Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, the 19th-century facades of which have been preserved.

The SLO (Solidarity Landholding Organisation)/RSL scheme is based on the principle of separating the land from the buildings. Within the framework of this operation, the OFSML is the owner of the land on which the 15 RSL housing units were built by FINAPAR/VILOGIA within the framework of an RSL operator (project management of the housing units).

Themes : 
  • Rénovation / Réhabilitation
  • Quality of housing
  • Social solidarity economy
  • Heritage
  • Strengthening of social links and of solidarity
Scale : 
  • District


marker  Lille
Type of territory : 
  • Metropolis
Delivery date :  17/09/2020
Built-up surface area :  20 000 m2
Project cost :  Euros 30 million EXCL.TAX
Project manager :  FINAPAR, VILOGIA
Project owner :  RED CAT Architecture, Carlos Batteur, Etienne Sintive
Associated partners :  OFSML ( bearing land for housing in RSL)


Competitions / prizes :  RT 2012



Project evaluation*

based on contributor declaration

Criterion 1: SUFFICIENCY

The “Cosmopole” project was carried out on the site of the former University of Pharmacy and Medicine. Built in 1892, the neoclassical style facades, dating from the 19th century, have been preserved and an important work on the masonry, in particular to restore the lightly colored ribbon joints as well as the original mosaics, has been carried out.

The entire project, located in a partly student neighborhood, was carried out in order to maintain the traffic flow and noise impact for local residents.




Criterion 2: INCLUSION


These 15 RSL dwellings are part of a mixed program on the site of the former University of Medicine and Pharmacy, whose 19th-century facades have been preserved.

Cosmopole is now a 20,000m² landscaped garden that includes a 127-room hotel, an art gallery, the British cultural center, 214 parking spaces, 210 homes, including 83 free housing, social housing and 15 Real Solidarity Lease (RSL) dwellings.

The 15 social homeownership dwellings in RSL are intended for households with incomes below the social rental-accession loan (PSLA in french). Their price per m² is limited to €2,100/m² (compared with €4,500 to €4,700/m² in the open market) in order to encourage the return of a social mix in the central districts of Lille.

Under the SLO/RSL scheme, the land is owned by an SLO (the OFSML in French, in this case), while the households taking out the SLO/RSL acquire rights in rem for a length of 18 to 99 years.

According to the initial feedback from households, and although they do not own the land for which they pay a fee for its occupation, the scheme is rather well received with regard to the location of the housing (located in the center of Lille) and their typology (2, 3, 4 and 5 room-apartments). Without the housing company’s ownership of the land, these households would only have been able to access homeownership in sectors far from the city center and in sectors with poor public transport links.

Criterion 3: RESILIENCE



Criterion 4: CREATIVITY


At the beginning of 2021, the OFSML launched a study to define the possibilities and modalities for the participation of inhabitants in the OFSML (cf. building on the Command-line tool model with a view to involving households in the SLO)


The system is currently being deployed throughout France (metropolitan France and the overseas departments). To date, 54 SLO have been approved and nearly one hundred RSL housing units delivered (Lille, Espelette, Kremlin-Bicêtre, etc.). This dynamic is intended to grow and, by 2024, it is projected that, based on the programs identified with the SLOs approved by the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Planning and Housing  (the DREAL in French), approximately 20,000 housing units will be in SLO.

About Solène

Mission Officer, Working Group, and Projects. Student at the Urban School of Sciences Po Paris, focusing on the ecological transition of cities.

About Quentin

Motivated by climate issues and planetary boundaries, Quentin decided to study land use planning at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. His experience in associative field at the Fresque du Climat, helped him to better understand the stakes of the ecological bifurcation. Between his native Haute-Savoie and his home town Rennes, where he gained expertise in mobility and sustainable agriculture, he is now based in Paris to deploy the Sustainable City by France’s territorial workshops throughout the country.

About Alice

After five years’ study at Sciences Po Lyon, with a specialization in territorial transitions, Alice joined Sustainable City by France (France Villes et territoires Durables). She actively contributes to the deployment of the association’s territorial workshops and working groups.
See her LinkedIn profile 

Currently studying as a second-year Master’s student in International Relations at University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Tara holds a Bachelor’s degree from INALCO, with a double-major in Hindi language, and International relations / Environmental studies. Her work with us is in line with her former experiences at UNESCO and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, thus deepening her professional expertise in the field of environmental diplomacy and international cooperation for sustainable development.

See her LinkedIn profile


She holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in International Relations and Action Abroad at the same university. She approaches the problems of sustainable cities and territories through these different perspectives and her international experiences.

About Isabelana

Isabelana is a Mexican journalist who holds a Master’s degree in Digital Communication and Data Analysis from the Sorbonne University. She previously worked in communication and press relations in the cultural sector in France and Mexico. Today, she is interested in ecological actions and solutions to preserve the environment and the biodiversity.

About Camille

camille photo
With a background in social sciences, art history and architecture, Camille has worked in communication within the VINCI group: from major international projects to La Fabrique de la Cité, a think tank dedicated to urban foresight.

About Alexandra

A geographer by training (Saint Petersburg State University), she started as a geographer and economist at the Academy of Agricultural Economics (Russia), before pursuing her career in France as an administrative and accounting assistant (Air Liquide, Association TGV Provence Côte d’Azur, COFHUAT, Groupe Hervé)

About Marion

Trained in international and European affairs between England and France as part of a double degree at Sciences-Po Lille / University of Kent, Marion started her career in advocacy and institutional relations of non-governmental organisations, in the fair trade sector (Max Havelaar France label). Her experiences are also linked to territories, with a passage in decentralised cooperation at the level of a departmental council.

About Sébastien

Before joining the SCbF team, he held several positions in local government management. From elected official and deputy mayor of his native city Besançon, in charge of university relations and international cooperation, to Director of Economic Development of the City of Pantin, to Chief of staff in Montreuil – where he notably piloted the in-depth redesign of the urban project towards more ecology and sustainable development – he continued his career as Senior Resilience Officer of the City of Paris.
He promotes a holistic and systemic vision of sustainable development and brings his expertise in territorial resilience, ecological and social transition.