liens evitement


Urban development and the use of public spaces

Cité épiscopale d’Albi

As part of its ’town contract’ 1 Albi undertook an important development programme during the 1980’s and ’90’s which included:

  • pedestrianisation of the streets of historic Albi, in particular rue Mariès and rue Sainte-Cécile
  • the cleaning and renewal of certain parts of town which had fallen into disrepair (particularly the area known as ’ilôt Sainte-Marie), allowing them to be opened to the public and revealing remarkable new views of the Episcopal city

In the last decade Albi has intensified its development and has progressively extended its renewal programme over the entirety of its ancient centre. The plan envisages continuing developments for a generation to come.

This project aims to bring modernity and functionality to the ancient centre while preserving its exceptional heritage and revealing the stories behind its historical sites.

A few landmark dates:

1999-2003: modification of the place du Vigan, the Jardin national and the boulevard des lices with the creation of a 380 space underground car park (included in the UNESCO buffer zone), and also the ends of the rue Croix-Verte and the rue Séré-de-Rivières closest to the ancient centre of town (at the limit of the UNESCO buffer zone);

2004-2005: complete refurbishment of the place Sainte-Cécile and the immediate surroundings of the Cathedral (part of the UNESCO world heritage site).

2005-2007: renovation of the two floors of the market hall with the creation of a 250 space underground car park and the refurbishment of the area between the market hall and the place Sainte-Cécile (included in the UNESCO buffer zone and partially in the world heritage site).

Together these refurbishments and new installations (including the underground car parks and the renovation of the market hall) represent an investment of 40 million Euros over 10 years.

These works have transformed the historic heart as much in terms of the embellishment of the town’s heritage as in terms of improving the usability of the area as part of a functioning town. Public spaces have thus been adapted according to the public’s needs and to the current modalities of urban management.

An urban management plan is integrated within this project of reinvestment in Albi’s ancient heart through a focus on the functionality of the urban centre and the urban community as well as through a strategy to welcome tourists and promote a convivial atmosphere for visitors.

The management plan will apply to three different sectors:

  • the UNESCO world heritage site: protecting and promoting the Episcopal city through the modification of public spaces: refurbishment of the place de l’Archevêché, the rue de la Grand’ Côte, the rue du Castelviel and the place de la Château;
  • the buffer zone: a project of urban renewal (a pedestrian liaison between place Sainte-Cécile and the boulevard des lices) and the completion of the refurbishment of the ancient ramparts;
  • the sectors neighbouring the buffer zone: the resolution of problems associated with the historic centre (management of tourist buses, underground parking, a project for the creation of a meeting and cultural space, a refurbishment of the south-west access to the ancient centre, allowing improved access to cultural sites and higher education institutions and providing a link between the historic centre and the town centre).

The urban management plan integrates the modernisation and the management of public places with the evolution of social practices and the changing use of these public places.

1The town contract relates to a French law aiming to provide a framework in which the state, local authorities and their partners could put in place local policies for urban development and renewal, to counteract the perceived degradation of certain of France’s urban communities.

Menu | Top