Lyon Metropole regenerates brownsites into fertile ground
An example of Lyon Métropole’s work on the circular economy is the innovative solutions implemented to sustainably develop city's Chemistry Valley.
Due to plant relocations in this sector and to the reinforcement of risk regulation, there is significant unoccupied industrial space available in the Chemistry Valley. Transforming infertile and contaminated soil considered as waste into a valuable product to develop green cities is part of Lyon Métropole’s circular economy strategy.
In 2016, a call focused on six pillars for major development, including one on ‘productive landscape’. This pillar aims to test different processes to clean up contaminated soil, produce biomass and create fertile ground. Transforming infertile and contaminated soil considered as waste into a valuable product to develop green cities is part of Lyon Métropole’s circular economy strategy.
A challenge was to find a business model, considering that fertile ground from agricultural land only cost €25 per cubic metre in Lyon, whereas re-fertilised ground is more expensive.
The best projects experimenting with productive landscapes focus on:
- treatment and regeneration of soil on industrial property
- clean-up of soil using techniques associated with the area of phytoremediation
- manufacture of living soil, fertilisation of inert soil
- recovery, storage, transformation and utilisation of fertile land
- biomass cultivation.
These innovative and circular solutions developed in the valley will help tackle the growing scarcity challenge of fertile lands, while also generating value.
By gathering public and private actors and by considering the Chemistry Valley as an evolving resource with a flexible production process, the challenges of unused and polluted land, scarcity of fertile soil and construction waste were turned into a new opportunity.