3LAND, a large-scale urban development project between the cities of Basel, Huningue and Weil-am-Rhein

3Land network, 2017

Cross-border cooperation is a partnership between private or public players separated by a State border, whose actions have repercussions at regional and local level on either side of the border. Within the European area, 360° mobility across the border, the projects and policies that accompany this mobility in territories close to the border, the progressive cross-border integration that this cooperation builds and which gives rise to cross-border territories, characterise different experiences. To illustrate the results of more than 20 years of cooperation within the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT), 20 unique experiments conducted by MOT members for the benefit of the inhabitants of cross-border territories were highlighted. Carrying out cross-border development projects or facilities requires an initial phase of defining a shared vision of the cross-border territory. The 3land urban development project in the Basle Trinational Eurodistrict is an excellent illustration of territorial dynamics in terms of development.

Three towns - one common future » - this is the motto under which the neighbouring towns of Huningue, Weil am Rhein and Basel have been cooperating since 2011. As part of the 3Land project, they are pursuing a common goal: to develop a cross-border district. Convinced of the potential synergies of joint planning, the towns of Huningue, Weil am Rhein and Basel are seizing the unique opportunity to develop a vast area in a coordinated way. The development potential between the Palmrain bridge and the Dreirosenbrücke is considerable, in terms of urban renewal, mobility and public spaces. The trinational dimension of the project makes it unique in Europe.

Initiated in 2012, the 3Land development agreement brings together the municipalities of Huningue, Weil am Rhein, Basel, Saint-Louis Agglomération and the Haut-Rhin department. This agreement has put in place a joint planning strategy for an 82-hectare trinational port and industrial zone. The project aims to accommodate 10,000 new residents and create 13,000 new jobs. The agreement covered the joint planning of a « new urban district at the heart of the trinational Basel conurbation (3Land)". 3Land is an urban planning project involving the development of a Franco-German-Swiss district on the Rhine covering an area of 82 hectares spread over French, Swiss and German territory. It brings together the towns of Huningue (FR), Weil am Rhein (DE) and the Canton of Basel-Stadt (CH), and includes the Communauté de Communes des Trois Frontières (CC3F) and the Conseil Général du Haut-Rhin. The project concerns the development of the area around the « Trois Frontières » site, between the Dreirosen and Palmrain bridges in the heart of the Basel trinational conurbation. It is designed to accommodate around 10,000 new residents and 13,000 jobs.

In addition, on 12 July 2016, the political leaders of the 3Land project signed a new planning agreement for the period from 2016 to 2020. Through this agreement, seven local authorities and two institutions define how they wish to pursue and realise the 3Land urban concept in their future planning. In 2017, the City of Saint-Louis and the Landkreis Lörrach joined the partners and project sponsors. The 3Land project was nominated as part of the International Architecture Exhibition IBA Basel 2020, a process to develop strategic and urban visions over a 10-year period (2009-2020).

The second agreement was signed in 2016 for the period 2016-2020. It covers further development of the project, particularly in the areas of mobility, landscape and pioneering uses for a cross-border conurbation. The aim of the project’s sponsors is to make the Rhine a central feature of the district, by making the riverbanks accessible and creating new leisure spaces close to the water.

The Basle Trinational Eurodistrict has taken charge of the first phase of the project. Three landscaped areas will be created, and three new bridges over the Rhine should be built to bring this district to life.

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