Smartseille is part of a more wide-ranging plan introduced to expand the scope of the Euroméditerranée project in 2009.
The Euroméditerranée public planning body (EPAEM) was awarded the EcoCité label, devised by the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy as a means to promote “architectural, social and energy innovation in cities”.
The project has become the largest urban renewal scheme in Europe and aims to provide a testbed for sustainable city projects, tailored to the specific climatic, geographical, cultural, human and economic factors of the Mediterranean region.
Eiffage was brought in as lead contractor to build the Allar showcase district—dubbed Smartseille—on a 2.7-hectare plot.
The group focused its R&D on new, cleaner construction methods and a more comprehensive systemic approach to sustainable urban development.
Phosphore, Eiffage’s sustainable urban development research programme, was instrumental in the process.
Eiffage Immobilier designed the new eco-neighbourhood using the innovative, sustainable solutions for eco-construction, mobility, housing and urban planning developed through Phosphore.
Expertise, innovations, energy-saving initiatives, new lifestyle habits and services are all an integral part of Smartseille.
Smartseille provides 58,000 m2 of homes, offices and amenities and is the 112th village in the Marseille area. It offers 385 positive-energy housing units, including 100 used for social housing, a 100-bed residence for seniors, 27,500 m2 of office space, 300 m2 of retail space, a 90-room hotel and a 35-cot day nursery.
Some of the office space is used by 400 Marseille council employees and staff from Eiffage Construction Sud-Est.
A symbol of the co-living concept, Smartseille can accommodate 4,000 inhabitants and will provide 2,000 jobs by the final handover in 2018.
Marseille launches Smartseille, a showcase eco-neighbourhood! (2015)
The principle of energy solidarity imagined by Eiffage and investigated by the Phosphore research programme is to use the calories produced by office buildings to heat housing units—and vice versa.
The seawater heat-exchange system, implemented by EDF, means that living spaces can be heated and cooled down using thermal exchange with the sea, leading to energy savings of 30%.
In its organisation of traffic flows, Smartseille gives preference to pedestrians and cyclists.
Inhabitants have access to shared electric cars and bikes.
A joint car parking concept enables office workers to park their cars during the day and residents to park theirs at night.
The future metro and tramlines are situated close by.
Concierge assistance provides handy daily services like dry cleaning, postal services, ticketing, pick-up point and mobile services such as hairdressing, beauty treatments, massage.
It also covers co-working facilities, shared mobility and joint car parking, alongside social activities like neighbour get-together sessions, gardening workshops, energy saving advice and tips, etc.
The spare room situated between adjacent units enables families to scale their housing in relation to their needs, which may change over time with a new baby, child leaving home, distance working, professional mobility, the need to care for senior family members, etc.
A high-speed internet service, installed by Orange, is available to the whole neighbourhood, making it easy for inhabitants to access on-line services like e-concierge, energy tips, neighbour networks, security and home automation systems.