Euroméditerranée: Breathing New Life Into Ancient Marseille


A joint initiative of the French national government and local organisations, the Euroméditerranée project is redeveloping and growing Marseille to become recognised as one of Europe’s major cities.

This social, economic and cultural development project launched in 1995 and is the largest urban renewal project in Europe, at 480 hectares.

Euroméditerranée is building a new 'city within the city', respecting the principles of sustainable development and striking a balance of social equity, economic growth and environmental protection. Infrastructure and public spaces — as well as offices, homes, shops, hotels and cultural and recreational facilities — are under construction or renovation.

Euroméditerranée’s mission is divided into four distinct areas:

  • Quality of life: Eliminate slums, help renovate homes, produce public housing, improve public spaces, create sports facilities, and develop local services.
  • Development and planning: Prepare development plans and implement major changes in urban infrastructure, structures and public spaces.
  • Property development: Schedule developers and investors for the construction or rehabilitation of offices, homes, shops, hotels. and cultural and recreational facilities.
  • Economic development: Conduct market research, promotion, communications and marketing to make Marseille attractive; recruit businesses, investors and international organisations; create new jobs.

Euroméditerranée has the status of an “Operation of National Importance”, and the project ‘s target for completion is 2020.


Rather than rebuilding neighbourhoods from scratch, Euroméditerranée is renovating existing urban areas. The biggest names in architecture are involved in adding a modern touch to this ancient city, and thereby earn it a place among the great cities of Europe.

As Euroméditerranée is renewing and rebuilding a “city within the city,” and incorporating the modern-day principles of sustainable development, it is being careful to retain the many historic sites that tell the story of Marseille’s diverse history and identity.

By awarding its flagship projects to internationally renowned designers, Euroméditerranée is establishing Marseille’s position among the most creative European cities, and strengthening its international allure.

Two winners of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture (equivalent to the Nobel) are each creating a building for the Euroméditerranée project: Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel.


Euroméditerranée is following the rule of thirds, to respect social diversity and cohesion: 1/3 public-assistance housing, 1/3 intermediate housing, 1/3 free-market housing. This balance is being reached by combining the renovation of existing housing with the creation of new housing stock.

A "sense of greenery” is created by both public green spaces and private gardens. Euroméditerranée’s plans call for approximately 27,600 square meters of public squares and gardens and the planting of 1,500 trees in public spaces. The plan also invloved the creation and restoration of more than 30 hectares of public space and nearby services.

Euroméditerranée’s housing programs also provide green space by incorporating interior gardens, buildings interspersed with public squares, and large private gardens visible from public spaces.

Upon completion of the project, Euroméditerranée will offer more than 45,000 square meters of gardens and public squares.

Quick Facts

Area: 480 hectares

Housing: 18,000+ units

Offices and businesses: 1,000,000+ square meters

Stores: 200,000+ square meters

Public Facilities: 200,000+ square meters

Green spaces and public areas: 60 hectares

Jobs: 35,000+

Population: 38,000+

Investments: 7 Billion Euros

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