How to preserve from demolition the Garden City La Butte Rouge in Châtenay-Malabry, near Paris, a model of garden cities in Europe, listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites for 2022? The Institute and Europa Nostra, the leading heritage organisation in Europe, have released a technical report emphasising the importance of preserving such a highly valued heritage site and its social impact of the region.

Built between 1931 and 1965, La Butte Rouge is a living testimony of 20th-century social housing, and its architecture is strongly influenced by the Modern and Art Déco movements and the Bauhaus school. La Butte Rouge consists of 4,000 apartments and a green area spreading over 70 hectares. It is home to thousands of people.

“La Butte Rouge faces the threat of demolition due to a renovation project that would demolish existing buildings, social housing and green spaces in order to build costly new apartments. In the context of the climate crisis and rising housing inequality, it is of utmost importance that La Butte Rouge is restored and adapted to serve as an example for future environmentally and socially responsible city planning”, emphasised the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered Programme.

The experts recognise its remarkable heritage value and encourage its preservation as an excellent example of modern architecture and landscape design. This historic example of sustainable development is still relevant today and demonstrates the positive social impact of providing a delightful place to live, in particular for those on low incomes. The combination of heritage, sustainability and social impact provide a valuable lesson for Europe today.

The EIB Institute facilitates the transfer of know-how and experience between different partners and countries in the heritage conservation field. Under the 7 Most Endangered programme, it cooperates with Europa Nostra to identify those under acute danger of neglect or destruction.