It was heralded as being the "digital gateway" but last Monday the City of Namur announced a change of name. The Namur-based project located in Grognon will now be called the NID, an acronym for "Namur Intelligente et Durable" (Smart and Sustainable Namur).
Still undergoing major works, the point at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers is gradually transforming to make Namur a smart city. Indeed, the new Grognon project aims to make citizens want to adopt the places as their own, to be able to gather there and consider the space as a genuine, life-sized "living lab".
The new acronym, NID (which means 'nest' in English) was given a lot of thought. It refers to the birthplace of Namur, since the Grognon is its historic centre, to the architectural form of the future building that, among others, will be round but also the configuration of the spaces in the hollow of the branches formed by the Meuse and Sambre. An ongoing contract was awarded in late 2017 to create a visual identity (logo, baseline, etc.) for this project which promises many wonderful things.
NID will accompany a revolution towards a smart and sustainable region, promoting ecological transition while being connected, smart, more environmentally-friendly and offering ever more services to its citizens.
It will also form a network with various clusters (existing or future) across the municipality. For example, the technology cluster, called TRAKK, is a Namur-based creative hub which acts as a multidisciplinary co-creation space where the aim is to promote the emergence of creative projects across the entire Namur region. With its specific features and in synergy with this cluster and others, NID should contribute to the emergence of a veritable creative dynamic.
Such "living labs" already exist in Europe and the city of Namur wants to study them in order to support its partnership with TRAKK. This is why its representatives travelled to Lyon in France to visit Tubà (the test tube of urban experimentations) which has a similar structure to that which will be built at Grognon. This source of inspiration has already developed links between different stakeholders, large organisations and SMEs, start-ups, the world of research and communities, in a collaborative process.
Copyright Photo: Degraeve – Nonet – Duchêne