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Good Practice

Using less soil

May 31, 2022
Puy-Saint-André in the French Alps has reduced the buildable municipal area by confiscating "ownerless" land, is saving space thanks to community housing projects and promoting the supply of local food by means of pasture associations.
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In 2016, the municipality of Puy-Saint-André/F noticed that more than half of its land had no owners. The municipality then drew up a map of all these plots and, from 2017, began confiscating them on the basis of a "thirty-year rule": it automatically confiscated plots whose owners had been dead for more than three decades and had no successors. People who wanted to benefit from the plots had six months to become active. Thus, the municipality reduced the buildable area in the local development plan from fourteen to four hectares and thus also significantly restricted land speculation. It implemented this change over two years through participatory meetings. In addition, the municipality is reducing land consumption by densifying housing. Several parties in community housing projects now share the same infrastructure. In addition, Puy-Saint-André/F created a pasture association that manages about 1,000 hectares of land and uses it for agricultural production. In this way, the surrounding villages can supply themselves with local food.

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

Fact sheet

What: Reduction of land consumption, promotion of participatory living, densification, participatory expropriation.

Who: Municipality of Puy-St-André/F & Atelier d'urbanisme et environnement CHADO

Where: Puy-Saint-André, France

When: since 2008

Transferability: Active citizen participation, community housing and farming projects, monitoring of land and vacancies can also be implemented in other municipalities.


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