Nature in Cities

The city, a real challenge in Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Azur

Over the last ten years, population growth in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Azur region has been well above the national average (almost 1% compared to 0.68% in mainland France). It is mainly urban areas that have developed.

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Four of the top twenty urban areas in France are in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (Aix-Marseille, Nice, Toulon and Avignon). Today, 80% of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azurresidents live in these urban centres. In the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Alpes-Maritimes, more than 50% of the population lives in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, and most of them live on the coastline (3 out of 4 inhabitants are concentrated in 10% of the territory according to INSEE). In Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, urban concentration is a fact of society that it is imperative to take into account when addressing the issues of lifestyle, risk, adaptation and climate impact.

Moreover, housing in the Mediterranean region has always been little dispersed: villages and towns are mainly characterized by compact housing. In Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, this concentration increased until the 1990s, before decreasing as a result of peri-urbanisation and deconcentration of the population towards peripheral centres. The city then becomes a real environmental issue. Thus, geographical and demographic densification, and the artificialization due to the construction of the city, can exacerbate the impacts of climate variations and create particular natural dynamics.

Extracts from:

  • « Climat et ville : interactions et enjeux en Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur » - GREC PACA – juin 2017
  • « Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, une région face au changement climatique » - GREC PACA – novembre 2015