Marseille (FR)


Project scale XL/S - territory / architecture + context

Location City of Marseille, La Cabucelle neighbourhood

Population Marseille 862,000 inhabitants. La Cabucelle 14 231 inhabitants

Strategic site 150 ha - Project site  90 ha

Site proposed by Marseille Rénovation Urbaine

Actors involved City of Marseille, AMP (Metropole Aix Marseille Provence), AGAM (urban planning agency)

Owner of the site City of Marseille, departement of Bouches du Rhône, state, social landlords, Region PACA, multiplicity of private actors

Commission after competition Urban and architectural feasibility study, mastery of urban and architectural work to initiate with operational partners

Team representative Architect - urbanist - landscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to a productive city?

The Cabucelle reveals a mixed urban fabric that has been inherited from the port-industrial development of Marseille during the 19th and 20th centuries. This suburb district proves to be a true patchwork in which housing, offices, workshops, warehouses mingle together with various abandoned or serioulsy degraded parcels but also with more peaceful areas. Located in an important sector for metropolitan economic development (GPMM, Euroméditerrannée expansion, ZA Arnavants, ZFU...), the economic identity of the site remains dominated by unclear small logistical and handcraft activities. Which synergies can be identified between housing and economic activities, between functions and uses, between suburb districts and city centre districts ? Which diversities and vocations of the Cabucelle could be used to make it a resilient and welcoming urban space ?

City strategy

The Cabucelle is part of global approach of urban renewal that has been conducted by the municipality of Marseille with the main objectives of stopping permanently the process of decline and creating favourable conditions to economic development, housing diversification and improvement of living conditions to promote the social development of all. The Cabucelle is part of the urban policy neighbourhoods (« Quartiers Politiques de la Ville »). It is also one of the districts pending to be subjected to an urban renewal project. On the south fringe, the district will be impacted by the extension of Euroméditerranée (an Operation of National Interest – OIN) and the creation of a coastal joint development zone (ZAC). In the end, the site will benefit from the extension of the subway line 2 and of the tramway network. Ongoing studies will influence the future of the district, and should lead to a relevant urban renewal project that will convey actual developments.

Site definition

The Cabucelle is a district from the 15th arrondissement of Marseille. It is bounded by Euroméditerranée to the South, by Saint Louis district to the North, by the seafront and the commercial port to the West and by the A7 highway to the East. Its main road is the Rue de Lyon. It is a fragmented sector with various urban forms (townhouses, warehouses from early 20th century, small collective buildings, areas of activity, wastelands, residential districts) that is characterised by a relative lack of centrality, an almost non-existent landscape framework and low access to public transport. The district is suffering from a negative image and a degraded socioeconomic situation : lack of equipments and public services, socioeconomic precariousness. Although it is one of the poorest districts of Marseille, the Cabucelle has land and social assets or resources linked to an economic and industrial tradition.

How is production inserted in the urban diversity programme?

The development of the Cabucelle will have to reconcile an economic and residential-social dual purpose. It will defend a vision of the productive city in terms of resource. The challenge is to reverse the viewpoint on this fragilised territory in order to see it from its assets perspective. It is assumed that there are material, human and/or conceptual resources, connected to this territory. The idea is to highlight other dynamics of creativity, solidarity ; to emphasize the invention of alternative solutions as vectors of socio-economic performance and social and spatial equity. The many challenges will aim at identifying and activating latent resources ; creating meeting spaces and diversity places ; having further connection between the territory and the metropolitan urban and economic dynamics ; improving the inhabitants’ living conditions and their movements by mobilizing all available levers. The candidates will have to work on an East-West sectional area from the activities zones of Arnavants/la Delorme to the autonomous bridge. This area will be punctuated by possible intervention sites (the Saint-Louis factory, the « Boues rouges » field (« the Aygalades heap »), the 287, the Madrague Ville way...) so that teams can bring their fresh and complementory perspective to urban and social study within the framework of the NPNRU prefiguration protocole.


Sea view from La Cabucelle 
Wastelands and housings on the site


View from La Madrague Ville way, on Cofrapex site
Warehouses on Marseille Madrague-Plan

Questions on the site

Bonjour, Le dossier de site complet ne comprend pas de fichier dwg. Est t il prévu de nous communiquer ce document ?

Is it possible to have a map of the site topography ? Thank you


We have just recovered the .dwg files. They are available in the complete file.

Best regards

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