Improvement of public space and habitat in Blois comprehensively incorporates environmental issues, starting with large-scale projects, and continuing with existing buildings.
Consideration of the Environment in Large-scale Development Projects
Consideration of the environment in urban development projects is generally focused on two key points: transportation and the purposes ascribed to buildings. In Blois’ large-scale projects, “soft” transports are privileged by creating pedestrian zones, “meeting areas”, bicycle paths and lanes, etc. In addition, most of the projects Involving the town center are dedicated to habitat, thereby limiting urban sprawl, which is inimical to biodiversity. And little by little, Blois has been appropriating existing wastelands, thereby reconstructing on its own grounds.
Insulation of Municipal Buildings
More than 500,000 € per year are earmarked for measures aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of its installations, by means of insulation and search for potential energy savings.
An Eco-exemplary Neighborhood: Ilot Laplace
Previously an industrial wasteland, Ilot Laplace is now an eco-exemplary neighborhood. With a surface area of 30,000 m², it hosts energy-efficient facilities: 100 lodgings and the Jeu de Paume multipurpose arena, as well as a large public garden and pedestrian walkways. As an eco-exemplary neighborhood, it has served as an inspiration for other urban projects, in Blois and elsewhere.
The Exemplary Marie-Amélie-Le-Fur Sports Complex (ex Honoré-de-Balzac)
Straw is at the central to ongoing renovation of the sports complex. In addition to the facility’s expansion with the construction of an urban climbing building, overall insulation has been rethought. When the town chose straw as insulating material, ecological reasons predominated; straw undergoes only minor transformation (preparation necessitates minimal energy), and suppliers can be local.
Contrary to what one might think, in the event of fire straw does not propagate flames, nor does it emit toxic gases. With regard to fires, just like many other insulating materials it is designated “Class E” (“Class C” in the United States), and requires nothing more than fireproof cladding. It is a good acoustic insulator and an excellent thermal insulator.
All in all, renovation of the complex was enabled through investment of 2.3 million euros by the town (950,000 €), the region and the French state. This budget supplements the 460,000 euros invested for renovation of the Jean-Leroi, Eric-Tabarly, Jules Ferry, Raymond-Etelin and Dojo Quinière (judo) sports complexes. As concerns the Traoré and Cerdan gymnasiums, a study has been launched, and they are under consideration for upcoming renovations.
Renovation of Private Individual Housing
Agglopolys, the conurbation community of Blois, has developed Renov’énergie (in French), a platform facilitating administrative procedures and implementation of projects concerning energy refurbishment of individual housing: advice, logistical support and financial assistance, etc. The platform furthers efforts to counteract energy insecurity, to reduce energy consumption and to bolster local craftsmen.