When you hear the name Darwin you automatically think Charles Darwin and evolution. But here in Bordeaux 'Darwin' is also a project, a project that takes a bunch of abandoned, dilapidated military buildings and injects much needed life into them. The idea itself was born around 2005 but didn't become active until 2010, when the clean up began. In 2012 the first occupants took possession of their sites and it was systems go.
Bordeaux certainly could be an example to many, Ecologically its advanced in its thinking. In recent years it has built a multi million, high tech electric tram system through and around the city, with effective park and ride schemes. A state of the art bridge that links the two sides of the city and to ease traffic even more, and it also offers public cycles and cheap electric cars as well.
The Darwin project is an extension of this. A one hectare area of land, soon to be a complete Eco-district. An area that plays host to businesses that that are all ecologically related. It also hosts areas for the youth of Bordeaux, an outdoor skate area in an old hanger and if it rains, a giant indoor skate park (and I mean giant!), an area for graffiti artists to work and display their talents, an indoor cycle polo court/league and more areas to socialise, hang out, be creative than you can shake a stick at..... It's also expanding.
Well worth the trip. Walk around, take your skateboard, watch the artists in action, explore some of the old buildings. It's free parking or accessible by the cities bikes, tram or train. I just hope that when all the companies have moved in the artists/skaters won't be moved on because as it stands it's a perfect solution.