Darwin, Niel Military Barrack Ecosystem

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In development

About the project Edit

The Darwin ecosystem is an urban project led by a group of SME’s (EVOLUTION) located on Niel military land (Queyries Quay, right bank of Bordeaux) in the future Bastide-Niel eco-district.

The objective is to create optimal conditions for sustainable development of forty or so businesses that are evolving in the creative green economy sectors. Offices, businesses and services have been setting up there since 2012 in the spirit of expanded collaboration, sharing of means, social diversity and social entrepreneurship.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Darwin is an unprecedented multidimensional project that wants to achieve a balance between economic development, environmental transition and urban cultures. Renovating abandoned buildings in the former Niel barracks in Bordeaux serves as a rich ecosystem for about forty businesses and associations concerned with intensifying collaboration to create a more responsible economy that is perfectly integrated in its territory.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Darwin creates a workplace that is open on its territory where which cross fertilization between associations, businesses, authorities and citizens must allow new forms of co-ops to be created as a result of a more responsible and harmonious society.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

First initiated on one hectare of land (10,000 square metres of office and commercial buildings), DARWIN could quickly expand its sphere of influence on 10,000 square metres of complementary area dedicated in particular to the emergence of an artistic and cultural fabric facing its cluster of green and creative economic activities.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Three fundamental considerations are the basis of the project: the need for businesses to create new business models adapted to our era (lighter, less carbon intensive, more efficient, more meaningful); the conviction that sharing and cooperating everywhere is essential to the success of these new models and to the response of challenges in our times; the desire for a very open source project where everyone can contribute – from the ordinary citizen to the elected official on an international scope!

What is the business model of this project? Edit

DARWIN brings together several activities, each with its own business model, from the most established (property development for eco-renovation of the historical heritage that includes office and commercial activities) to the most experimental (like financing an urban farm that has the potential to give life to a farmer and support a short circuit company restaurant).


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