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Parc Nord, Marseille

Part 2 Project 2014
Oliver Justice
Tommy Stoney
Jason Turner
Samuel Clarke
University of Bath, UK
France’s second largest city, Marseille, has a chequered past. Over the course of its 2,600 year history, it has witnessed the rise and fall of ruling empires and dynasties, but what has remained a constant is the city’s diverse variety of cultures from across southern Europe and northern Africa. Seemingly cut off from France’s mainstream cultures, this distinctly Mediterranean city is historically proud of its relative isolation from the national psyche. For a majority of the Marseillais, the sea provides the strongest identity; whether it be from generations of immigration or the throng of port industry. The clear blue, sparkled waters of the Mediterranean however, brought with it the lawlessness of immigrant minorities and their infamous criminal activity still define people’s preconception of the city to this day.

Positioned on the coast, and bordered by mountains, Marseille’s growth has forced a relatively dense urban grain, with many highrise housing developers taking their inspiration from Le Corbusier’s Unite d'Habitation. Though rich and diverse, Marseille’s social history is one of two halves, north and south. Walking through the streets of gated villas, interspersed with parks and foliage, with excellent contact with the beaches and sea beyond, the southern districts are for those of a privileged community. Arriving on the metro 3 miles north tells a completely different story; one of degraded streets, poor social housing and non-existent green space. Completely cut off from the sea by the port, the communities are sliced apart by heavy infrastructure, tainted by drug related homicide and crippled by staggering unemployment and minimal education. Much of the proposed Euro-Mediterranean masterplan works in merely extending the southern affluence and displacing the poor further north.

Our locale needs to work in drawing the disaffected youth, the unemployed and the criminal out of their subculture and reintegrate them into an educated, working society; in an environment that is open, green and connected to the waters of the Mediterranean. To achieve this the locale needs to be an educator, employer and liberator; a space of apprenticeship, industry and leisure. In doing so, boosting the future success of the existing port.

Oliver Justice
Tommy Stoney
Jason Turner
Samuel Clarke

Tutor(s)
Mr Alex Wright
2014
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