ZAD

ZAD de Notre-Dame-des-Landes (also known as ZAD NDDL) is the most well-known 'Zone to Defend' in France. Located in the Loire-Atlantique department near to Nantes, it is a very large, mostly agricultural terrain of 1,650 hectares (4,080 acres) which became nationally famous in the early 2010s and has resisted several concerted attempts by the French state to evict it.

For decades there was local resistance to plans to build a new airport in the rural commune of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. In the 2000s much of the land was squatted as farmers were evicted. The new occupants set up autonomous self-sufficient structures such as a communal bakery and animal husbandry. Attempts to evict the squatters saw largescale counter-mobilisations in 2012 and 2018. French president Emmanuel Macron announced in January 2018 that the plans for the airport would be shelved and the already existing airport at Nantes would be redeveloped instead. Many of the remaining projects at the ZAD then engaged in a process of legalisation.


Lecture

Jay Jordan on the history of de ZAD Notre-Dame-des-Landes at Frei[T]räume - Envisioning Free Space Conference in Berlin, 2021