Renaturation of the Branche de Croix near Lille

A project at the crossroads of many urban, ecological and flood protection concerns

The Branche de Croix, a waterway that has been completely artificialized over the decades, is currently being rehabilitated to make it a high-quality place to walk and relax.

The European Metropolis of Lille has appointed Artelia to manage the entire project, which includes removing the old structures, re-naturalising the Dragon port, bringing the river back into the open air, cleaning it out and landscaping the banks.


Emblematic of the urban development practices of past decades, the Branche de Croix, a dead branch of the Roubaix canal running through the communes of Croix, Wasquehal and Villeneuve-d’Ascq, has been completely artificialized over time. The European Metropolis of Lille now considers this situation to be incompatible with its ecological targets (restoration of the blue and green corridors), economic attractiveness and improvement of the population’s quality of life. It has therefore launched a project to rehabilitate the site, for which Artelia has been appointed project manager.

In addition to improving the attractiveness of the surrounding neighbourhoods, this renaturation project aims to reduce the risk of flooding, recreate ecological continuity, reclaim polluted materials from the site and reduce sedimentation factors. After carrying out an assessment and studying the feasibility of the operation, our teams designed and proposed various development scenarios to the Metropole. They are currently monitoring the implementation of the chosen programme.

Photo credits: Alfred Peter Paysagiste Urbaniste