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Eco-district of REMIRE MONTJOLY

A project proposed by Suez Consulting Antilles Guyana


Specialist :  Suez Consulting Antilles Guyana


The French Guyana Public Land Development Establishment (EPFAG in French), in partnership with the town of Rémire-Montjoly, wanted to design the Vidal eco-district according to the principles of sustainable development. To this end, an eco-district approach was initiated on the Vidal site.

This district is located near the town of Rémire at the crossroads of two major roads: the ex-national road 3 and the ex-national road 4 known as the Matourienne.

The development studies carried out by the EPFAG led to the creation of a concerted development zone (CDZ). The CDZ will ensure the control of urbanisation and the realisation of a coherent urban project in the area.

The development is broken down into 3 phases allowing the servicing of a 35 ha perimeter which will accommodate 1400 homes and public services.

The project is part of the development of an area rich in flora and fauna which is imperative to preserve. The issue of optimising and enhancing the value of the space was central to the general design of the project, and this at several design levels: at the territorial level, setting a clear limit to urbanisation, with respect to spaces of great landscape and environmental value.

Themes : 
  • Quality of housing
  • Planning
  • Social solidarity economy
  • Energy
  • Transport of people
  • Large water cycle
  • Strengthening of social links and of solidarity
Scale : 
  • City


marker  French Guyana / REMIRE MONTJOLY
Type of territory : 
  • Metropolis
Delivery date :  20/06/2019
Built-up surface area :  76,000 m2 available for development
Project cost :  Euros 42 Million
Project manager :  The French Guyana Public Land Development Establishment (EPFAG in french)
Project owner :  MARNIQUET AUBOUIN agency
Associated partners :  Suez Consulting, Détails, Techni’cité


Project evaluation*

based on contributor declaration

Criterion 1: SUFFICIENCY

The project is part of the development of an area rich in flora and fauna which is imperative to preserve. The issue of optimising and enhancing the value of the space was central to the general design of the project, and this at several design levels: at the territorial level, setting a clear limit to urbanisation, with respect to spaces of great landscape and environmental value.

On the scale of the neighbourhood itself:

  • In the choice of the layout of public spaces, taking into account the topography (contour line) in order to optimise the land area to be served and built on
  • In the choice of stormwater management in public spaces in order to reduce the constraints on the parcel scale and consequently to encourage greater density and better organisation of the buildings on the parcel. The management of rainwater in public spaces also makes it possible to guarantee the best functioning and durability of its management in a highly constrained Guyanese climatic context.

At the scale of the built urban fabric:

  • Through strong recommendations concerning the management of under-building car parks, also in order to optimise the constructability of the land.
  • Through the choice of housing typology, giving priority to intermediate and collective housing.
  • Through a land division in line with these typological choices. The combination of these project orientations on several scales has made it possible to build a neighbourhood whose density is considerably higher than that which is currently practised while preserving a strong landscape identity in the built fabric.

The EcoQuartier operation was the subject of an impact study and an authorisation file under the law on water, which made it possible to establish the initial state of the site, to identify the nuisances as well as the reductions in impact envisaged. Iterative work between the engineering office, which carried out the impact study and the water law file, and the project management team made it possible to integrate the measures planned to reduce or compensate for the nuisances at a very early stage. Thus, deforestation and earthworks will be limited to what is strictly necessary and will be recycled through the reuse of lateritic materials and green waste. Remarkable trees and two large wooded areas will be preserved in the reference master plan. Soil sealing will be compensated for by a hydraulic system of ditches and buffer basins to drain the area.

The project has made it possible to initiate research and implementation of concrete products based on laterite. The pedestrian walkways of the eco-district are made of laterite concrete, thus allowing the substitution of part of the aggregates for laterite from the site.

The lighting fixtures suspended above the pedestrian traffic are attached to cathedral wood poles from sustainably managed Guyanese forests.

Emphasis was placed on technical research to limit the use of concrete in development. Thus, the ditches collecting rainwater are treated with ground cover to consolidate the slopes and avoid the use of concrete.

Architectural prescriptions and choices aimed at the climatic comfort of the dwellings have been integrated into the specifications of the lots.

It is possible, in addition to the common law actions launched on the territory to protect the environment and control energy, in addition to the explanatory prescriptions provided in the welcome booklet, to carry out awareness-raising actions for the first inhabitants and the population of the island of Cayenne about bioclimatic housing lifestyles and the management and operation of the eco-district (the role of the drainage channels, for example).

Soft modes are preferred, with the creation of a wide right-of-way for cycles and pedestrians on the main artery of the district, separated from the roadway by a quality landscaped area. The secondary roads, which do not carry transit traffic, are designed as shared roads, the layout of which favours the cohabitation of soft modes with vehicle traffic.

Seven bus stops will dot the neighbourhood and will be located less than 150 m from the housing units.

Criterion 2: INCLUSION

The operation was the subject of an extensive consultation campaign with :

  • Local elected officials
  • Residents (neighbourhood committees, participatory workshops, public meetings)
  • Experts (consultancy firms)
  • Public authorities (CACL, DGTM, CTG, DRAC, ONF, Conservatoire du Littoral)
  • Associations:
  1. local association for the promotion of sustainable urban and architectural quality (AQUAA, Guyana’s architecture house)
  2. associations for the preservation of fauna and flora and for raising awareness of ecology and eco-citizenship (Gepog, KWATA, GRAINE de Guyane, etc.)
  3. sports associations
  4. cultural associations (museum of Guyanese cultures)

One of the major principles of the project in its programming is to provide a diversity of housing, taking into account the very high diversity of the population in terms of both lifestyle and financial means. This diversity is made possible by specific work on the project’s land division, from the block to the parcel. This classic division principle, contrary to the macro-lots, makes it possible to propose a strong diversity of housing on the block, both in terms of architectural typology and in terms of a social mix; according to the three-thirds rule (social rental, assisted access and free market). Although social diversity is very difficult to achieve on the scale of the plot, typological diversity has been proposed as much as possible (townhouses, intermediate and small collective housing within the same plot).

Due to its strategic location, at the crossroads of the communes of Cayenne, Matoury and Rémire-Montjoly, the EcoQuartier is close to employment and living areas, justifying its attractiveness. The supply of shops and activities within the district will also enable residents to benefit from these services without systematically using their vehicles.

A comparative study of land and property prices has enabled EPFAG to verify the value of its land charges. The diversified supply of housing must allow all households to find a home adapted to their residential trajectory. A special effort has been made to market the plots of land available for construction (60 lots), sold directly by the EPFAG to individuals, in order to smooth out their price and make them accessible to as many people as possible. Half of these plots will be sold to first-time buyers. This measure completes a housing offer whose urban forms and financing methods must allow everyone to extend their residential career in a neighbourhood close to all amenities.

The bus stops will be accessible to people with reduced mobility.

No feedback at this stage.

Criterion 3: RESILIENCE

The project has been the subject of various studies, particularly hydraulic studies, in order to correctly size the rainwater evacuation structures without risk of overflow and flooding.

In the first place, an eco-district project deploys a systemic vision to analyse the various issues (mobility, housing, basic services, jobs, etc.).

Criterion 4: CREATIVITY

In order to support the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), the EPFAG has decided to impose integration measures in the tender documents for the works related to the Ecoquartier. In addition, the district foresees the implementation of projects of a social nature, such as the implementation of an associative pub in phase 3…

Following the results of the analysis of the project manager and the support of various consular bodies (in particular the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of French Guyana ie CCIG), the future district will highlight the local sectors: wood, lateritic materials. While the construction market is dynamic, local resources are little promoted, the Ecoquartier project aims to promote the increased use of local materials, both in public space and in architecture, in particular wood and laterite. This initiative will not only have an economic impact of supporting the sector but will also allow the promotion of local productions and by the same token improve the visibility of these sectors of activity (territorial marketing).

On a technical level, the project has been the subject of research into the production of lateritic concrete, which allows the reuse of lateritic spoil in the composition of the concrete. This makes it possible to substitute a part of the aggregates of a classic concrete while having a natural colour of the final material close to laterite.


The project has not yet been replicated, but the eco-neighbourhood approach could be replicated in other areas of Guyana.

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.