Ile-de-France, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

The 'cite-jardin' of Stains was built in the 1920s devised by Henri Sellier and designed by architects and Georges Eugene & Gonnot Albenque.

It consisted of housing for families and flats with great architecture, supplemented by public and private green spaces and community facilities and shops.
The initial project was ambitious. It was planned to build a well-equipped housing estate, a swimming pool, a fitness club, a cinema and an auditorium with a lively commercial centre and quiet residential part also to be built, but ultimately much of the intended scheme wasn’t built.
The central square was surrounded by large and straight avenues. Some streets are curvilinear and lined by pavilions. Some gardens are bordered by lanes that reach courtyards, big green ways accessible only on foot and sometimes allocated as families’ garden.
Stains’ town plan has facilities are centralized around the Pointet square. In contrast with the smaller quiet residential streets, the Paul-Vaillant-Couturier Avenue is a busy shopping street.

Settlement/development timeline   

  • First conceived before WWI
  • Developed between 1921 and the 1930s

Original master planner and any other critical master planning, design and architects: 

Devised by Henri Sellier, Chief of the Public Housing Office of Seine-Saint-Denis
 The architects were Eugene Gonot and Georges Albenque

  • Preference for single-family housing
  • Rejection of terraced housings
  • Abolishment of back lanes and front fences
  • Use of rounded street intersections
  • Extensive tree planting and generous provisions for parks and playgrounds.

Architectural Style/qualities:      

  • Local vernacular
  • Bungalows have red roofs
  • Street layout is in classic Parker & Unwin axial layout with roads radiating out from a central square.

Settlement Size

2 sq mi / 5.4 sq km



Employment Numbers

  • Total in labour force – 95,910
  • Worked full-time 62,566
  • Worked part-time 24,190  
  • Away from work 6,105  
  • Unemployed 3,049
  • (2011 Census)

Housing/other built form densities

L1640 dellings, in 19 apartment blocks and 472 bungalows
Works out at 58 dwellings per hectare

24.5% public space (streets, squares)
68.5% private space (houses, apartment blocks)
7% 'islets' (integrated green spaces)

Governance arrangements

Local Authority

Approx 85% social housing (anecdotal)

Other notable features that reflect Garden City Principles       

  • Well connected and biodiversity rich public parks, and  a mix of public and private networks of well managed, high-quality gardens, tree-lined streets and open spaces;
  • Distinct separation of the residential, industrial and civic areas and in the use of parks to screen residential neighbourhoods from roads and other undesirable things.
  • strong local cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable neighbourhoods
  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the very best of town and country living to create healthy homes in vibrant communities

Find out more

Association régionale des cités-jardins d'Ile-de-France
"Mémoires de cité-jardin"
28, avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier / 93240 STAINS
TÉL : +33 1 58 69 77 93