Sustainable airport areas

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Sustainable airport areas

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We will rely on the exchange of experiences that allow us to identify and transfer best practices to enable local public authorities create or develop their airport territories.

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About the initiative


Based on the work already performed by the IAU and the Alliance Hubstart Paris Region®, we will create a common set of best practices for sustainable development and planning of airport sites for better consideration of these issues on the territories and facilitate the implementation of appropriate policies.








  • Identify and transfer, through exchange of experiences, best practices allowing local government officials to create or expand their airport territories.
  • Test these "best practices identified" on an airport sites of a participating city to refine the guide of best practices and prepare training exercises.
  • Technicians: Knowledge of new practices and new tools for the creation or development of airport zones
  • Local politicians and economic policymakers: Knowledge of new best practices, exchange of experience on other airport territories; enhancement of existing initiatives and job creation
  • In the longer term: Citizens: Improving the quality of life and Businesses: Improvement development sites for airports


Date Phase / action
First half of 2015 Preparation
October 26-28 2015 First workshop, Paris
5th Sustainable Airport Areas International Seminar, Paris
1st half of 2016 Compilation of best practices on Sustainable Airport Areas
September 20-22, 2016 Second workshop, Atlanta
6th Sustainable Airport Areas International Seminar, Atlanta.
October 2016 - March 2017 Preparing the Guide on Sustainable Airport Areas.
March 2017 Third workshop, Brussels.
1st half of 2017 Finalizing the Guide on Sustainable Airport Areas.
June 2017 Presentation of the outcomes at the Metropolis World Congress, Montreal.


How to participate?

You can register via the METROPOLIS Secretariat General: Ms. Mireia Zapata -

Or directly contact the Initiative organizer: Ms. Teodora Nikolova -

Project management
Head of Department of Economy and Local Development
IAU îdF - Institut d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme
Responsible for studies
IAU îdF - Institut d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme

Environment, mobility, economic development and urban planning at the heart of sustainable airport areas


The third and last workshop of our initiative on Sustainable Airport Areas was held on the morning of the past April 4 at IAU (Institute of Urban Planning and Development of the Paris Region). It was organized jointly with the Airport Regions Conference (ARC) held in Paris from April 4 to 6.

The workshop brought together more than 35 participants, among representatives from the airports of Paris-CDG and Paris-Orly, from Metropolis members – Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Daegu, Dakar and Île-de-France –, and from other European metropolises (Budapest, Dublin, Goteborg, Oslo, Vantaa and Warsaw), as well as international experts and consultants from private companies (Arcandia, Envisa, Total).

The main objective of the third workshop was to carry on with the collective work on the principal challenges, issues and good practices developed by international airport areas that have already been identified during the first two workshops (Paris 2015 and Atlanta 2016). The participants split up in thematic work groups, each tackling one of the following key challenges: environment, mobility and accessibility, economic development and urban planning.

A business tour was organized jointly with the ARC in the afternoon. The participants visited the School for Aeronautics professions in Toussus-le-Noble (near Paris-Orly airport) and had the opportunity to discuss with the students and the trainees of the center.

Next step: the XII Metropolis World Congress in Montréal on 19-22 June 2017, where the final report of the Sustainable Airport Areas initiative will be presented.


Sustainable Airport Areas Final Workshop 2017

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Experts identify challenges and good practices developed by international airport areas


On September 20, 2016, the Sustainable Airport Area initiative held its second workshop in Atlanta, USA – almost one year after the October 2015 Paris workshop. Representatives from six international airports participated in the workshop: Atlanta, Paris-CDG, Beijing, Dakar, Vantaa, Barcelona, as well as international experts, consultants and scholars from Paris, Atlanta, Hong-Kong and Vancouver. In total, twenty-five high-level professionals attended the workshop.

During the 2015 Paris workshop, the participants had identified 10 key thematic challenges facing the sustainable planning and development of airport areas. 

The main objective of the 2016 workshop was to identify and share good practices related to these 10 key challenges. Participants were invited to split up in thematic work groups, each tackling one of the key challenges. This work method allowed for the collective identification of a number of good practices developed by international airport areas on various fields such as mobility and accessibility, urban planning and development, governance and competitiveness.

The workshop program also included a visit to the Georgia Resource Center - a world-renowned resource center run by Georgia Power and dedicated to attracting and expanding businesses in the State of Georgia. 

On September 22, the participants also took part in a business tour in the Atlanta Airport Area organized by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). The business tour, held jointly with the Hubstart International Seminar, included visits to some of the major economic development sites and projects in the Airport Area such as the new Porsche Headquarters, the redevelopment of the former Fort McPherson military base, the City of College Park and the new terminals currently under construction.

The main objective of the Initiative is the publication of a Good Practice Guide on Sustainable Airport Areas, due in June 2017. A third workshop will be held in the beginning of 2017 to finalize the work achieved during the first two workshops.   

Read the report here

2nd Sustainable Airport Areas Workshop

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What are the main challenges facing sustainable airport areas?

Metropolis Initiatives
Environmental protection
Social infrastructure and services
Technical infrastructure and services
Participants Workshop 2015 Sustainable Airports Areas_2

On 26 and 27 October, the Parisian airports of Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly hosted the first workshop of the “How to create a sustainable airport area” initiative, dealing with the main challenges these facilities are facing. Eight airports participated in the workshop: CDG-Paris, Orly-Paris, Barcelona, Atlanta, Shanghai, Incheon, Beijing and Guarulhos. In total, more than thirty people participated in the workshop, representing not only airports but also academia, research and consulting.

The workshop featured morning sessions with presentations from the participating airport areas and technical visits to Orly and Charles-de-Gaulle in the afternoons. The work sessions concluded on Tuesday 27 with an open debate based on a mind-map created from the ideas compiled over the two days of work.

This exercise helped visualize the main challenges, many of them shared, currently facing sustainable airport areas. Issues discussed:

Main challenges encountered in creating a sustainable airport area

During the technical visits to Orly and CDG, participants got a first-hand look at how these airport areas are set up, as well as some of the main initiatives underway in order to remain a benchmark in sustainability (this initiative deals with the concept of sustainability in a broad sense, encompassing economic, environmental and social issues). In this regard, participants visited the Recyclerie Les Portes de l’Essone, a place to collect, repair and re-sell objects that employs and trains residents from towns near the Orly airport. In the CDG area, participants attended a presentation on the Villepinte geothermal district heating network, which is going to serve several thousands of households.

See the report here.




Workshop 26 October 2015



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