Live Tree

What is our ambition?

That our 38,500 students should be immersed in a physical campus and scientific, cultural and learning structure which gives them ecological virtues to act responsibly throughout their personal, professional and civic lives.

Live TREE program

Logo Live Tree


In 2013, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region (now Hauts-de-France Region), accompanied by Jeremy Rifkin, launched with optimism the project Rev3, the Third Industrial Revolution. Mixing technological innovations and new practices, the Region and all its participants have committed themselves to a transition towards a more respectful and sustainable environment and economy. This is the challenge that Lille Catholic University is taking up on its campus with LIVE TREE.
In liaison with elected government representatives, researchers, inhabitants and partner companies, LIVE TREE accelerates energy, ecological and economic transition in the Vauban-Esquermes neighbourhood of Lille. Since 2013, we have been renovating our buildings to limit our carbon footprint and make them models of good practice, genuine laboratories; we are installing solar panels and use our own energy, we encourage sustainable and electric means of transport; we are focalising research on the technical and human aspects of this transition and are developing urban agriculture.
Step by step, we are making the University an incubator for good practice and an accelerator of projects, in a participative and federative spirit. We are training students and professionals to become participants in this new model of society and we are supporting experimentation and encouraging every initiative on campus.
Committed at level of the neighbourhood, the city, the metropolitan area and the Region, we are always looking for new partners to invent tomorrow’s university. Come and join the adventure!

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STEPS                     PROJECTS 

The major axes of the program

    Make changes in our degree course proposals for students and professionals

    Université Catholique de Lille offers students a scientific, cultural and learning environment resolutely committed to environmental and societal transition. The goal is to allow them to act in a sustainable way throughout their personal, professional and civic lives and to construct new models for a society which will be more respectful of the environment and of the human person, fairer and more equitable.

    Basic training and continuing education courses:

    • Courses dealing with awareness of environmental and societal transition in a growing number of programmes.
    • Specialist programmes preparing for tomorrow’s professions.

    Masters in Smart Cities
    A full two-year course offering seven different programmes to prepare students for the challenges of urban development, environmental or housing management. Because it is taught exclusively in English, the course is accessible to international students.

    University Diploma in socio-technical management of energy performance
    The first diploma of its kind offered in France, the UD trains professionals to consider the way energy consumption is used and managed in residential or industrial buildings.

    Digital Computing and Biology Programme 
    A double degree course for tomorrow’s professions in the areas of bioinformatics, precision agriculture, smart farming, computerised agricultural machinery, bio-nanotechnologies, big data, computerised objects...

    A campus in transition, a truly innovative educative tool for students.

    Virtuous buildings (ISA, Rizomm, Faculty of Medicine and Midwifery, St Philibert Hospital…) where the users are partners in developing new forms of behaviour in energy consumption

    Awareness of sustainable transport systems

    • “CoPILOT”: individual advice and support to encourage employees to ask questions about their use of transport and its alternative forms (with the support of ADEME – French Environment and Energy Saving Agency)
    • A fleet of bicycles and scooters (electric or not), V’Lille (municipal bicycles) cards available to employees…
    • Electric vehicles for use and installation of charging stations

    Support for student organisations wishing to promote sustainable development 
    Activities and awareness on campus (radio program, conferences, workshops, visits…)

    Design model buildings and blocks connected by a smart grid

    Live TREE is also supported by initiatives in energy and societal transition by the institutions of Université Catholique de Lille, which are running projects on their own buildings and in their forms of organisation.

    The ISO 14001 approach at ISA Agricultural and Environmental Engineering School
    An environmental action plan has been drawn up around 6 priority focuses for work, like waste management, reduction in consumption (energy, water, paper) reducing the carbon footprint and preserving biodiversity. 25 monitoring indicators regularly measure running operations which could have a significant impact on the environment.

     The Faculty of Medicine and Midwifery (FMM)

    • A building performing above the renewable energy standards currently in force
    • Monitoring and display in real time of energy consumption
    • Shared vegetable garden run by a collective of students and employees
    • New teaching methods based on reconstitution and 3D printing of diseased organs and simulation workrooms
    • Entertaining energy challenge with the Energic solution spread over three buildings on the campus including the FMM
    • Energy audit and use of the FMM
    • Selective paper recycling on a voluntary basis, in partnership with Recygo La Poste

    « Le RIZOMM »
    The 6500m² RIZOMM building has been subject to a complete thermal renovation since the end of 2016. New electric systems of heating and air treatment, a new 1200m² solar panel plant and dynamic technical management of the building will considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Being at the heart of a smart-grid, the building will become the subject of socio-technical research and training, allowing users to be fully active in energy consumption.

    - Develop transdisciplinary Humanities-Social Sciences-Engineering research on the question of energy transition and society
    Create research and innovation chairs implicating both local government and business
    Contribute to the emergence of new economic models

    The Humanicité Living Lab, an approach serving social transition

    Living-lab’s approach seeks to encourage the users of the neighbourhood to jointly plan and manage projects, for example:

    • At Lomme-Capinghem, a mix of units with different functions (housing, economic activity as well as medical and social structures) and an approach facilitating harmonious living together
    • Working together on a project for a shared garden for the neighbourhood.
    • Sharing students’ skills with the communities of partners in the neighbourhood: analysis of soils and recommendations for a compost maker for the shared garden; diagnosis and recommendations for improving accessibility for everyone for each of the institutions and public spaces in the neighbourhood; inventory of biodiversity in the neighbourhood and presentation/awareness for the children in the neighbourhood.
    Promote regional economic innovation and development
    Associate the campus and the neighbourhood in all stages of the transition

    From the start of its LIVE TREE Programme, in 2013, the Université Catholique de Lille has wanted to associate the Vauban-Esquermes neighbourhood, its inhabitants and stakeholders.
    Supported by the University and the City of Lille, with our nearest representative being the local branch office of the City Hall (especially through its local branch office?), this approach aims to make Vauban-Esquermes the Living Lab in Lille for transition in energy, ecology, economics and active citizenship.

    The partners engaged in the transition:

    •  the inhabitants and their residents’ associations
    •  the schools
    •  companies and housing organisations
    •  the elected representatives

    Multiple forms of cooperation for practical projects

    A Participative Approach

    The Open Forum on 1st April 2017: “What action should we be taking today to make Vauban-Esquermes a sustainable neighbourhood where it is good to live together?” : a hundred participants for the day, 14 discussion groups, 7 project groups.
    Follow-up of the Open Forum:

    - Transformation of the Organising Committee into a Follow-up and Support Committee
    - Initiatives: Repair Café, Tiers Lieu (Meeting Point), Energy ...
    - Progress: installing compost-bins, authorisations for revegetation ...

    • Participation of the neighbourhood in study and experimentation: Vauban-Esquermes was recognised as a strategic area in the study on “Energy Challenges” put in place by Lille European Metropolitan Area
    • Improving people’s knowledge of the area: Energy Diagnosis of Vauban-Esquermes
    • Sustainable Development Activities: Opening up to the inhabitants of the monthly workshops called "Sustainable Solutions for Tomorrow", visits to get to know the neighbourhood

    Initial projects from 2000 onwards

    • First transportation plan in a French university
    • Creation of a pluridisciplinary “Institute for Sustainable and Responsible Development”.
    • Assessment of the carbon footprint of the faculties and schools and their integration into the Green Plan system of reference.
    • Development of traditional degree courses and lifelong learning schemes.
    • Growing research work on questions of mobility and energy.
    • Support for student organisations working on sustainable development.


    The aim of zero carbon in 15 years

    In order to become a Zero Carbon Campus in 15 years, Lille Catholic University is putting into place zero carbon energy consumption in its historic buildings.
    Thermal renovation, optimisation of heating systems, production of renewable energy, changes in the mixture of heating systems used, teaching users in energy efficiency… all of these are ongoing or already programmed.

    more information : 


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