Applying sustainable urban design to a luxurious island destination – turning landscape into a modern lifestyle.
La Reserve: 15.8 hectares
Smart City: 223.4 hectares
A mixed-use destination that balances the energy of the city with the tranquility and biodiversity of the locale while delivering strategies for the two to live in long term harmony.
- Mont Choisy will be developed as a smart city in 4 phases over 20 years.
- 7,000 jobs are estimated to be created by the project.
- 1.5 kilometers of boulevard and parkway space connects the residential development to the coastal village of Grand Baie, and provides a natural setting for walks, runs and bike rides as well as a venue for shopping, retail and dining.
- Mont Choisy La Réserve residential development will feature the first constructed swimmable freshwater lagoon in the Indian Ocean region.
A melting pot of global cultures, people travel from all over the world to enjoy Mauritius’ pristine beaches, exclusive resorts and gracious hospitality. But this focus on tourism leaves many residents, even the ex-pats, without a true community gathering place. People often commune at home or in private clubs and restaurants. The island’s remote location in the Indian Ocean – nearly 2,000 kilometers from mainland Africa – also drives a need to be self-sustaining, resilient, and ecological. Mont Choisy’s site pushes that need even further, as the development is located on the driest part of the island. WATG designers were faced with a challenge to create a place that’s both well-connected and self-contained – that promotes interaction between locals and tourists, and that enables harmonious long-term growth while maximizing local resources.
THE DESIGN STRATEGY
Urban design is at the core of a “smart city” strategy. Native plants are endangered in Mauritius and often overlooked by designers. We brought them right back to the centre of the story. After the completion of its four phases, the new Mont Choisy Smart City will include retail, dining and office space, hotels, a sports centre, university, innovation centre, and a variety of residential units in different price ranges, including the WATG-designed residences of La Réserve. Linking them together is a boulevard – inspired by the island nation’s strong ties to European cultures – animated with dining, entertainment and parks. This mixed-use approach shifts the design strategy to one that’s more equitable and more resilient for the long term. Distinguishing itself from many of Mauritius’ exclusive resorts and gated communities, Mont Choisy’s boulevard welcomes the public and is intended to serve residents of the island as well as visitors.
The boulevard also becomes an ecological corridor that breathes life into the new urban centre and its surrounding residential developments. Indigenous plant species (which require less water and pesticides than many non-native varieties and are naturally adapted to the place) are a key design driver. The restoration of the natural landscape is at the heart of the project and celebrates its beauty. Rainwater pools, a freshwater lagoon, and local materials are also leveraged to support Mont Choisy’s long term sustainability – and to reinforce The Mont Choisy Group’s reputation as an ecological developer with over a century of experience caring for the land.
Thoughtful mixed-use design ultimately changes behaviors. It creates a healthier space that people want to spend time in, connecting with their community and with each other. The diverse tenant mix also increases foot traffic, and more passers-by results in increased engagement and revenue for retailers, restaurants, hotels and other commercial property owners and lessees. Most importantly, the “smart city” approach drives civic pride, and motivates people of all kinds to respect the community, the land and its natural resources.
Within the community, elements like a freshwater lagoon – bringing a beach to residents’ backdoor – add to La Réserve’s luxurious amenities and aesthetic appeal. These landscape innovations give Mont Choisy a competitive advantage in a growing market and boost overall real estate value by way of an improved resident experience.
“The WATG team is positive and constructive and comes without ego. They know how to listen and understand the client and direct us appropriately.”
“The features that the landscape architecture and strategy teams came up with have given us an edge over others on the island. They come up with intelligent solutions and then the way they present their work is flawless.”
– Jyoti Jeetun, Chief Executive Officer, Compagnie de Mont Choisy Limitée