LAB.2030 | La République Street: Downtown Regeneration Though Design
In March 2017, the city of Saint-Etienne staged a month long regeneration project focusing on the development of La République Street. Aligned with the International Biennial of Design, the city funded the restoration of 20 commercial buildings with the hope of transforming the street into a thriving area providing social and economic benefit. In collaboration with the local creative community as well as business owners and enthusiastic students, the vacant buildings took on a new life in the form of shops, craft workshops and community areas. The renovation from a street full of old properties into an attractive commercial avenue is a progressive step. Such enhancements improve employment and entrepreneurial spirit within the city, and give designers the opportunity to test experimental solutions for vacant infrastructure. Nearly a year after completion, this historical city has successfully managed to adjust to the new 21st century expectations while retaining its heritage. As part of the La République Street of design initiative, 40 other events took place in the area, hosting over 2300 visitors and supporting additional economic growth.