Marseille (FR)

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Scales XL/L

Team representative Architect, urbanist and landscape architect
Location Marseille - Bouches-du-Rhône (13)
Population City 870 321 inhabitants, Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence 1 898 561 inhabitants

Reflection site 400 ha - Project site 25 ha each

Site proposed by City of Marseille • Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence • EPA Euroméditerranée
Actors involved City of Marseille • Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence • EPA Euroméditerranée
Owner(s) of the site Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence, City of Marseille, French government, private owners

Commission after competition Commissions to further define development strategies • Project site feasibility studies • Project management commissions • Coordinating the start of sites with partners.

More Information

Inhabited milieu's challenges

The site is part of a coastal river catchment basin, the Aygalades stream whose source is to the north of Marseille. The area's geography has been disrupted by an urbanization that does not respect the valley sloping down from the hills to the sea: infrastructures cut into this exceptional coastal landscape ignoring natural elements that are essential to the site's identity and functioning. In the middle of this landscape of obstacles, several urban renewal projects coexist.
The Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence and the City of Marseille are developing projects on an unprecedented scale in a built-up residential area. The "Opération d'Intérêt National" (OIN) Euroméditerranée is developing the second phase of its project, creating a large park and restoring the Aygalades waterway, which currently flows through culverts under the Canet train station. New residential neighbourhoods will be built in this restored landscape, increasing the area's potential for life - both human and non-human - overcoming and transforming divisive borders and infrastructures... Looking anew at the course of the coastal river, it is possible to expose many territorial development issues, to be in tune with the site and nature: ecological and morphological restoration, flood risks and soil permeability, the green and blue networks, global warming and the urban climate, resilience, future local use of the spaces, social inclusion, etc.
Thus, the three project sites tell three different stories of division and disruption that need to be understood. They offer three possibilities to identify, think about and act on transitional areas and need to be urgently developed so that they are able to influence environmentally, economically, socially and spatially fragile areas ... edges for future encounters.

Questions to competitors

The territory needs to be rethought across the divides that define it, going beyond or playing with administrative and physical borders. Candidates are invited to investigate the potential these lines of rupture and the interstices have for becoming fertile and unifying interfaces. It is crucial now to repair the edges of these complex sites, which are the subject of several on-going projects, in order to increase interactions and generate an inclusive vision of the territory.
With a network of parks (Bougainville / Aygalades / Billoux) on the horizon, this landscape pattern could be extended (towards the Massif de l'Etoile? towards the sea? towards the village cores?) through links in a vast chain (existing and to be invented) of landscaped areas. The applicants are asked to bring to light the area's overlooked geography and to develop a sensitive, poetic, local relationship to a territory where scale and landmarks have disappeared.
This territory does not need another strategy study, but a new way of seeing the city. Candidates need to come up with a common story to tell, a narrative of past, current and future projects. The objective is to spotlight forgotten facts and propose coherent projects with informed scenarios.
The three project sites were chosen for their potential (nature, position, resources, etc.) to be catalysts in the development of territorial initiatives. They are areas of confrontation, yet they have the potential to be bridges for cross-public action. Europan is an opportunity to demonstrate the need for "urgent", rapid and efficient interventions on these sites.

Questions on the site

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This site is connected to the following theme

Reimagining public space as a biodiverse landscape

Imagine public space as a biodiverse landscape. Imagine public space as the touching ground, the proof that YES, WE CAN –through design– address challenges caused by the crisis due to climate change, in terms of social and environmental issues. Imagine public space as the agent for inclusion of difference both in terms of humans and non-humans, as a mediator between new interdependencies. Imagine soils, water bodies, shores and eco-corridors as the main actors to guide complex transformation processes. On the following sites, public space is seen as the area where the topic of Living Cities is performed.

Questions on the site

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Fr. 2 June 2023
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 16 June 2023
Deadline for answers

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