Marseille public spaces

Marseille, France

Marseille public spaces

Marseille, France


In 2018, the city of Marseille decided to set in motion a large renovation of its city center's public spaces. Discussions on implementation were initiated, basing themselves on the framework plan already developed by our MDP firm in 2015. The framework proposes that the redevelopment already begun along the city's seafront, in the form of various projects such as Euroméd, Mucem, and the Vieux-Port, be extended into the streets of the city center.

The historical center contains a significant diversity of architectural and landscape situations. Establishing coherence within the city landscape cannot come simply from a complete overhaul, nor from falling back upon a “patrimonial” type of composition.

A series of compromises needs to be found amongst and between the public spaces, which differ in displaying greater and lesser coherence. These spaces have inherited situations in which their function and design have been transformed over and over again, and in which their readability has gradually deteriorated as a result. Their grounds exhibit the markings of a wide range of materials, characteristic of varying periods of intervention. They have often lost any sense of their own uniqueness, and only with difficulty maintain a clear relationship with their surrounding built environment.

In order to bring forth coherent landscaped urban entities, a close following of the thought behind the guiding framework is required in the implementation of the various redevelopment projects. One of the main focuses of the framework is on how these entities should be joined and connected. A redefining of the materials, but above all of on how the thresholds and transitions function from one space to another, is essential. Streets, squares, courtyards, and boulevards are brought into better coherence with one another thanks to the introduction of a considerable plant layer, and an overall rethinking of the ground surfacing.

2018 to 2022
Urban strategies, Public spaces

Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence

Project Team:

MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste
INGEROP (lead consultant)


272 ha