The lower part of the famed Canebière high street – which sweeps down from near the main train station to the sea at the Vieux-Port – will be off limits to cars along with a total of 72 hectares of streets and open spaces.
The three-year project was officially launched late last week and will cost a total of €60 million. Its first phase, which includes the pedestrianisation of the Canebière, is due to be completed this summer.
Map showing areas to be pedestrianised. Image: madeinmarseille.net
The aim of the project is to increase visitor numbers in the city centre, boost sales in local shops, and generally improve the experience of wandering about the downtown area.
“The image of the city centre has deteriorated over time,” said Martine Vassal, president of the greater Marseille area.
-Meilleur partage de l’espace public au profit des piétons et des modes doux de déplacement,
-Transformation de La Canebière,
-Végétalisation et développement de la nature en ville avec la plantation de 450 arbres,
– Harmonisation de l’architecture et valorisation du patrimoine. pic.twitter.com/fZlj9x1QWV
— Ville de Marseille (@marseille) March 7, 2019
Marseille has long suffered from a reputation for dirtiness, gang crime, and urban deprivation but has to some extent managed to shake off that image, and in recent years has opened a strong of new museums and arts centres and redeveloped its waterfront.