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Ecological and community areas

May 31, 2022
With its ecological commons zone (“Zone d'écologie communale”, ZEC), the Free Quarter of Lentillères in Dijon/F invents a legal tool to legalise land occupation and thus prevent construction.
Image caption:
(c) 2022 Le Cri des Terres - no copyright

In 2010, a group of demonstrators occupied, reclaimed and planted nine hectares of land in the city of Dijon/F to prevent it from being built on. Since then, hundreds of people have been using the resulting Quartier Libre des Lentillères. There are several community gardens, farms and small buildings. The residents maintain the public natural space and thus create a place for recreation, knowledge exchange and joint celebrations. Since 2017, they have been threatened with eviction. To prevent this, the residents would like to give the neighbourhood a legal status without losing the special multiple uses of the area. A working group founded for this purpose developed the new “dedication category” for the ecological commons zone ("Zone d'écologie communale") on the basis of the existing legal foundations. In this area, housing is accessible to people of all social backgrounds, new buildings fit into the landscape and there are no parking areas. This new dedication category is now to be included by cities and municipalities in their zoning plan. It is seen as a tool, and does not enjoy consensus among the users of the neighbourhood.  A brochure summarises all the information.

More information: (fr, en), (fr), (fr)

Fact sheet

What: Legalisation of land occupation, new dedication category

Who: Quartier Libre des Lentillères

Where: Dijon, France

When: since 2010

Transferability: Other municipalities and cities can also benefit from the idea of an ecological commons zone.


Image caption: