Common metropolis

Metropolitan hikes for those involved in public planning

On the edge of the urban and territorial consultation organized by the Interministerial Mission for the Metropolitan Project, the GR2013 Bureau des guides offered teams four days of territorial exploration along the metropolitan path: day walk’s punctuated by discussions and exchanges, meals facing the landscapes shared with the members of the teams but also with the interministerial mission, the elected officials, the participants in the worksites, the inhabitants.

The opportunity to showcase our knowledge prior to the project and pass on to the teams accumulated years of metropolitan culture patiently developed over the course of explorations carried out from 2011, as well as during the projects organized by the prefect Laurent Théry.

Beyond the gesture of hospitality in the invitation to embark on this grand metropolitan hiking project, there was the opportunity to create the GR 2013 project which, from its inception broke with strict cultural frameworks by providing an instrument for reading the territory and then for planning.

Having completed 80 km of walk in the elevated parts of the metropolis, the team placed the themes of landscape, the relationship of city to nature, the spectacular dimension, at the heart of the consultation. Until a few years ago, these themes hardly existed in public discourse, nor at the scale of Marseille, and even less so within the metropolis.

Revealing the high ground of the metropolitan area by show-casing them through the menu, and on the ground, in all their historical dimensions, has forged a concrete bond with the teams. It explains their importance in their proposals and activities.

“We especially remember, thanks to the metropolitan hikes, two characteristic aspects of the territory: its spectacular side, the great points of view that can be discovered while passing from one valley to another, but also its side“ live happily, live hidden ” which leads to improbable cohabitations between activity zones, river, micro beach… ”David Mangin, SEURA team“Metropolitan hikes have really made it possible to make the temptation of planning of the town planner obsolete, and to make him the bearer of stories about the territory.” Fabienne Boudon, Project Manager, LIN team


A one-year, 365 km walking trip through the 38 (37?) municipalities crossed by the GR2013.

Every other Friday in 2013, CARAVAN brought together the architects of CAUE13 and the artists of GR2013 for a day’s walk. Mayors, elected officials, experts and inhabitants of the municipalities linked by the trail. This trip was an opportunity to discover and invent a territory together.

The discussions and exchanges that animated the trajectory allow us now to better understand its history and its geography, to read its landscapes, to discover how it is inhabited and witness its overall planning. Through the caravan’s story, we learn to look at the places we live in with the desire to re-explore them so we might reinvent them.

This year of surveying, discovering and meeting has been recorded, step by step. In each corresponding sound episode – the visitor can browse the logbook of this exploration and begin with CARAVAN the inventory of the heritage of the municipalities, these districts of the “Provençal Hyper-Village”.

CARAVAN is a CAUE13 project, co-produced by Radio Grenouille, in partnership with Wildproject editions and the Cercle des Marcheurs.


1001 NIGHTS on the GR2013 is …

About twenty meetings

Performances, concerts, exhibitions, readings, dance … Discover the program.


Walks, particularly those led by the department’s hiking clubs will be organized around the sites to explore the places. Here hikers will share their local knowledge and their stories.

Moments of contemplation and discovery

Each 1001 Nights meeting will give rise to a collective and participatory moment during sunset. The public will receive the “Pléiades” (booklet of texts from the collection and the universe of the invited artists) and will be invited to participate in this public reading, imagined with the help of Radio Grenouille.

An invitation to inhabit the place

Thanks to the Caravanade designed by the Yes We Camp collective, each camp will offer a friendly and comfortable space. Small catering, refreshment bar or caravan-library depending on the location and artistic proposals.

And stories

Through the publication of a special newspaper imagined with the help of Ventilo and thanks to your participation, because perhaps you too know metropolitan tales …

Pamparigouste expedition

Michelin road atlas, 2015

In 2015, the reissue of the Michelin road atlas forgot to include the blue water table of the Etang de Berre. The largest saltwater lake in Europe – 75 km of coastline, a 155 km2 lagoon and 980 million m3 of water – disappeared from the map.

In 2018, a wet spring brought enormous inflows of fresh water causing a phenomenal “phytoplankton bloom” which, associated with very high temperatures and an absence of mistral winds during the summer, created one of the most serious anoxic crises in the region. This particularly disturbing event is part of the long history of this highly industrialized territory, alerting us to the current fragility of its ecosystems.

In 2019, an expedition led by the Bureau des Guides, with a crew made up of artists, scientists and lagoon inhabitants, sets out to discover this inland sea. After sailing from Marseille, their ship ventures into the Caronte channel to re-invent a territory based on its coasts and shores.

A poetic and scientific exploration begins…

PAMPARIGOUSTE, is a metropolitan expedition supported by the FNADT, the South Region, the European project Nature 4 City Life, the Department of Bouches-du-Rhône, Les Parallèles du Sud de Manifesta 13, the Fondation de France, the municipalities of Martigues, Miramas, Saint-Chamas, Istres, Vitrolles and Berre-l’Étang. In coproduction with gmem-CNCM-marseille, Center National de Création Musicale de Marseille | ENSA • M. In partnership with Opéra Mundi, the TARA Oceans Foundation, the GIPREB, the eco-citizen institute of Fos, the LPED (Aix Marseille University), the Park of the former powder factory of St Chamas (SIANPOU), Yes we camp, the nautical bases and sailing clubs as well as the associations bordering the pond (ESSV, Batolab, LPO, ADMR, Étang Now, Nosta Mar, etc.).

Showcase of the trail

An exhibition space

Just like the GR, where the GR2013 trail is indicated by its markers, the Bureau des guides is indicated in Marseille by its window.

In a sympathetic nod to Paul Ruat – the founder of the Marseille excursionists of the 19th century who placed in the window of his bookstore a slate announcing the next walk outings – the window is both an invitation to travel and a place of hospitality where one is able to tell stories.

A series of exhibitions is presented in response to the program of the Bureau des guides and reminds us that this trail exists not only on this legendary street, but also throughout the metropolitan area.

Inaugurated at the end of 2017, the Vitrine du Sentier located at 152 Canebière hosts exhibitions that tell the story of the GR2013 territories, it is supported by the Department of Bouches du Rhône as part of the revitalization of central Marseille.

Photographic inventory

THE INVENTORY brings together a wide selection of photographic works carried out in the Bouches-du-Rhône metropolitan area since the 1980s. It now brings together nearly 60 photographers and more than 5,000 images. This unprecedented gathering of photographic works aims to be exhibited online to present side by side series of images that reveal, by traversing them, these territories swept by the same wind.

The project designed for the Manifesta 13 biennial includes the inauguration of the collective and virtual exhibition of the works, the programming of a series of screenings and presentation of the works by their authors as well as the opening of a workshop for the general public that will offer to manipulate the photographs and build their own collections.

We will return to the field later, to continue these photographic encounters and observe the landscapes that we inhabit.