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


Itineraries with overnight stays, to live in the peri-urban area.

Accompanied by walking artists, the observation of the landscapes leads little by little to the creation of a bivouac and time for a vigil.

Knowledge sharing

Study trips and workshops

Walking is the scale for reading the landscape, particularly suitable for those who want to understand and feel the universe that surrounds us.

Change posture, be open to the knowledge of some, to the memory of others, to enter into the physical and historical depth of a territory, of a landscape.

Create a dynamic and poetic relationship with your daily activities …

The walker is no longer a distant observer but participates, alters themselves through the exchange, in listening and in the encounters one makes while walking.

“Understand its past, its present uses and the challenges of its future.”

It is this approach to walking, which reveals, updates, poetizes what is there, the Bureau des Guides invites you to put into practice through these three “methods”:

Study trips | Group

They are tailor-made and in collaboration with upstream teachers. They give rise to further research work after the trip is over.

OBJECTIVE: Create group cohesion, meet each other in different ways, apply theoretical knowledge, initiate a theme starting from the field …

DURATION: From one to several days, possibility of bivouac.

AUDIENCE: Students in architecture, art and design, town planning, landscape …

Workshops | Individual

On a defined theme, these training periods open to everyone are moments of sharing and pooling of knowledge. They can give rise to a joint resolution.

OBJECTIVE: To enrich one’s knowledge and practice, meet project partners, discover a territory …

DURATION: From one to several days, possibility of bivouac.

AUDIENCE: Students, Artists, Professionals of culture and territorial development …

Workshops | Teambuilding

Moments of reflection for a team: the putting into practice and the confrontation of knowledge, out in the field, brings out new ideas, questions, laying the foundations for collective work.

OBJECTIVE: Confront theory and practice, create group cohesion, meet each other in different ways, initiate a theme inspired by the landscape.

DURATION: ½ day to several days.

AUDIENCE: Technicians from local authorities, culture and regional development professionals.

Nature for city life

5 years of exploring city / nature relationships in the metropolitan areas of Aix-Marseille Provence and Toulon Provence Méditerranée

By transposing the practice of long-distance hiking in our metropolitan areas, the actions emerging from the Nature for city Life project inform the various actors of the city (inhabitants, urban planners, elected officials, students, etc.) on the role of urban green and blue infrastructures in the face of to climate change. A narrative approach based on sensitive exploration is favored, favoring an active appropriation of the issues and an involvement of the participants through walks, thematic workshops, bivouacs, editorial and observation tools or even the design of a new path in the metropolis. Toulon Provence Mediterranean.

On the GR2013, monthly walks are thus offered by Nicolas Mémain and the SAFI collective, and in the Toulon metropolis, by Paul-Hervé Lavessière, with a view to the construction of a Metropolitan Path of Greater Toulon.

During 5 years, these guides, will develop, a small popular university of metropolitan ecology – a “public service mission to think, to walk, to transmit”.

The Nature 4 City Life project is a project coordinated by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, with the city of Marseille, the Aix-Marseille Provence metropolis, the Toulon Provence Méditerranée metropolis, the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis, Air Paca, the Ecology Population Development Laboratory (AMU university), the GR2013 guides office.

To approach from different angles, and with different scales, this relationship between city and nature, we identified some specific themes and particular territories to explore during these 5 years.

1 / River monographs

Coastal rivers, canals, basins… blue infrastructures are the basis of green infrastructures, and therefore structural elements of the metropolis. They allow you to explore specific environments in several municipalities and also to appreciate various methods of development and management.

2 / The green network practiced

The Green Trame Strolls offers you to practise a section of the “green trame” on foot by experiencing the relationship to movement in concrete terms, and in focusing particularly on an animal or plant species in its use of the green corridors.

3 / The Etang de Berre

In 2020, public events to disseminate the culmination of a long investigation into the ecological issues of the Etang de Berre.

4 / The Ruisseau des Aygalades

From the collective an awareness emerges concerning the role of a coastal river such as the Aygalades, with walks offered from its source to its mouth.

5 / Foresta

IIn the context of the Foresta project which gradually installs representations, uses and modes of management of an urban park based on a former industrial wasteland, the principle of Walking Conversations is to invite scientists to walk in situ, in order to gather the ecological stories of the place, through sharing of various knowledges.

6 / Toulon Provence Mediterranean

The walks are intended to bring out both a new metropolitan path, and an understanding of ecological issues for both professionals and residents.

Metropolitan trails academy

Cycle of meetings and tools to learn about trails …

The Metropolitan Trails Academy is both a tool and an innovative practice for rediscovering our inhabited territories and redefining their political geographies. The Metropolitan Trails Academy is an educational project that provides avenues for building metropolitan trails and in reading metropolises. The establishment of a metropolitan path goes hand in hand with the establishment of “local educational communities” (on the model of the heritage communities of Faro). Within these communities, a civic practice of sharing knowledge and sharing expertise takes place on the ground: in walking together, through the production of a charter, a guide and MOOCs (translated into 6 languages ), 6 structures provide knowledge to define a common structure that allows new project leaders to develop their own practice, to design a project and to work both with communities and with civil society (artists, associations). These 6 structures are based on a complex interplay of skills and experiences, both technical, human and relational.

Birth of an urban school

Between town planning, ecology, tourism and contemporary art, the Metropolitan Paths are urban facilities that renew our representations of, and everyday practices, of the contemporary city. The Metropolitan Paths are open platforms for continuing education in the city in all its aspects. Wishing to share their know-how, several creators of Sentiers Métropolitains d’Europe have come together to found the Académie des Sentiers Métropolitains, which in 2021 published a charter, a methodological guide and a Mooc.

The Academy was designed at the end of the General Assembly of Metropolitan Trails, held at the Mucem in December 2017, during the inauguration of the Metropolitan Trails Showcase. It is coordinated by Metropolitan Trails, with PathsOfGreece, Trekking Italia, Büro für Städtereisen, urbanegestalt, Le Bureau des guides du GR2013 and Mucem. A project co-financed by the Erasmus + agency of the European Union as part of an educational program for adults.