Nice, the 5th largest city in France and an international tourist centre, is a modern and active regional capital. In perpetual effervescence, it has nevertheless managed to preserve its art of living over the centuries of a rich and intense history.
Three areas in particular show a desire for excellence: sustainable development, health and tourism, all of which are riding the digital wave.
Becoming a reference in terms of ecology and the green city of the Mediterranean is now a priority. This state of mind remains and is being extended to all areas, as demonstrated by this anthology of large-scale projects.
Extension of the Promenade du Paillon
While the first part of the Promenade du Paillon, inaugurated in 2013, has been a great popular success with more than a million visitors each year, its extension over 8 additional hectares will provide a 20-hectare urban park in the heart of the city!
Combining nature and culture, the project also includes the requalification and modernisation of the MAMAC to give it back its full dimension and influence, as well as the enhancement of the Louis Nucéra Library within this new green setting.
A real architectural and environmental asset, the extension of the Promenade du Paillon contributes to achieving the ecological transition objectives targeted by the City of Nice and the Metropolis by the end of 2025, namely: to create, over a good kilometre, 70 additional hectares of permeable and vegetated surfaces, to plant 280,000 trees and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 200,000 tonnes of CO2/year.
This project also includes the complete renovation of the Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art (MAMAC) to give it back its full dimension and influence, and the requalification of the Louis Nucéra Library to improve its value and accessibility from the garden.
Cost: €75 million (including tax) (50% participation by the State and the Region)
Operation of National Interest decided during the Grenelle de l’Environnement and launched in 2009. The ambition of the Eco-Valley is to propose another model of development and urban planning.
In the field of hospitality and business tourism, the City of Nice wanted to increase the attractiveness of the Côte d’Azur and its reception capacities. To this end, the Nice Côte d’Azur Urban Community is building a large multi-purpose infrastructure that will make it possible to combine urbanisation and preserved areas.
This 10,000 hectare project, 450 of which will be developed and urbanised, on the Var plain (to the west of the city), already hosts companies including a teaching and research centre dedicated to sustainable development and ecology, and an eco-stadium to UEFA standards. This will be followed by a large-scale cultural facility and a 75,000 m2 exhibition centre, in addition to the existing structures, as well as housing, shops and major green spaces.
If this project has received the label “operation of national interest”, it is above all for the extent of its ambition, whose impact concerns the national level. Rare are the development initiatives of a territory whose vision is so “wide angle”.
Economy and employment, ecology, planning and transport, housing and daily life: in all these dimensions, the Eco-Valley intends to provide effective and original answers.
Imagining another mode of planning and development is the challenge of the Eco-Valley operation. Of course, it is not a new town established on a virgin piece of land: the operation must adapt to an existing territory, to its history, to the strengths and weaknesses of its past development. However, the project’s ambition is to give back to the Var plain its harmony and coherence, as well as to reinforce its natural and human wealth.
Delivery in several phases: until 2032
Investment: €2 billion of which 75% from the private sector
For more information, visit : http://www.ecovallee-cotedazur.com/
Grand Arenas multimodal transport hub
The Nice Saint-Augustin-Airport multimodal hub will be the major connection node of the Eco-Valley. All modes of transport on a single site
Located on the East-West axis, close to the airport and the Arénas, the Nice Saint-Augustin-Airport multimodal hub will eventually include a railway station (trains and TGV to Paris, Marseille or Italy), a bus station (urban and interurban buses), a direct link to Nice city centre via the tramway, bicycle (Vélo bleu) and electric car (Auto bleue) stations, park-and-ride facilities…
This infrastructure, which will occupy 90,000 m2, is a pilot operation in the Eco-Cité approach. It is also one of the major facilities of the Grand Arénas operation, since it will provide this new business district with exceptional accessibility. The centre will be directly connected to the international airport and to the network of future multimodal centres in the Eco-Valley.
Summer 2022: opening of the new Nice St Augustin TER station;
2023: commissioning of the first phase of the bus station and the Avant-scène building;
2024: start of work on the Nice Airport TGV/TER station and the second phase of the bus station;
2028: opening of the Nice Airport station.
The estimated cost is €40.8 million (railway station and first phase bus station).
A new conference area at the Port of Nice
As part of the preparations for the Oceans Summit in June 2025 (organised by the United Nations, France and Costa Rica), the City of Nice will be inaugurating a new events centre to the east of the city, on the Quai Amiral Infernet in the Port of Nice.
Covering an area of 5,000 m2, this facility will include:
- A main plenary hall with a 2,400-seat amphitheatre
- 3 associated reception rooms (500m2 each)
- a VIP area of 1,000 m2
The planned facilities will accommodate events such as seminars and conferences. Particular attention will be paid to the aesthetics, quality and durability of the materials used, as well as to the landscaping, with its generous vegetation and open views of the sea.
A new exhibition centre to the west of Nice
An international exhibition centre will be built to the west of Nice, in the Grand Arénas business district. This multi-purpose infrastructure, in direct proximity to Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, the multimodal train station and the motorway, will represent a new stage in the development of business tourism in Nice and the Côte d’Azur.
The design of this project has been entrusted to an urban project management team, working with the Catalan architect and town planner Josep Lluís Mateo, who will also be responsible for the public spaces, as well as assisting the developers and designers of the various property programmes to be developed on the site.
The Exhibition Centre will meet environmental requirements with 40,000 m2 of green space around the building.
Delivery is scheduled for 2028. The total cost is estimated at €200 million (public-private financing).
Nice Meridia and Eco-Campus
The Nice Méridia urban technology park is a priority operation of the Eco-Valley and is intended to extend over 200 hectares, with a first operational sector of 24 hectares. Its Eco-campus will bring together teaching, research and innovation centres related to the environment, sustainable development and smart cities.
The Nice Méridia urban technology park already includes housing, a business hotel (Premium) and its start-up incubator, as well as The Crown building with its 11,105 m2, 4,500 m2 of which is rented by the American company IBM.
Its urban location and the mix of its programme make it a unique eco-district, offering an incomparable quality of life and work. A real catalyst for innovation, Nice Méridia offers a development space for R&D and training in the green growth, environment and health sectors.
The objective of Nice Méridia is to create and organise an urban site that is particularly attractive for public and private R&D organisations by reinforcing the priority sectors of the Eco-Valley linked to sustainable innovation, while accelerating endogenous development processes such as incubators, business incubators, company hotels, business centres…
The organisation and operation of this space are designed to encourage short circuits between the knowledge and innovations developed within the eco-campus. The Mediterranean Institute for Risk, Environment and Sustainable Development (IMREDD), inaugurated in February 2012, and the European Business and Innovation Centre (CEEI) will promote innovation and business creation in the field of sustainable development and green technologies.
Another exceptional project expected in Nice Méridia: an innovative programme of 125 “garden homes”, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, spread over two energy-efficient buildings.
Palace of Arts and Culture
The current Exhibition Centre will be converted into a Palace of Arts and Culture. It will be equipped with an 800-seat front theatre and a 1,150-seat auditorium.
Delivery for a cultural season in 2026-2027.
Hill of the former castle
This high point of the city, the cradle of its history, is the subject of a global redevelopment project.
The park of the Château, covering 12 hectares, is a natural site classified as a “Natural Monument” since 24 December 1935. This site, which is open to the public and has an important tourist vocation (it welcomes 1.2 million visitors per year) and heritage, has not been renovated for many years. Located at the eastern end of the Promenade des Anglais, the Colline du Château is also an integral part of the overall site of the Baie des Anges and is fully involved in the process undertaken by the City in favour of UNESCO’s application for inclusion on the World Heritage List.
The first phase of work on the top of the hill and the ruins of the old castle began in the first half of 2017. The renovation of the calade of the Nietzsche terrace was delivered in February 2018. The requalification is planned to take place over a period of 15 years.
The aim is to recover the spirit of the 19th century promenades without denaturing the site, with a landscape that opens onto the Baie des Anges. And, as a high point, the keep with its 180° view and its orientation table…
Redevelopment of the Port district
The Port district has undergone a major transformation in recent years. This was accelerated in 2019 with the opening of line 2 of the tramway, which provides a direct link between the airport and the Port of Nice in 26 minutes.
The aim is to further develop the assets of this district and in particular the Île de Beauté square which, with its exceptional architectural and cultural heritage, has a strategic location in the heart of the city.
- Making the city greener with the creation of more than 1,150m² of vegetation and the planting of 110 trees
- Urban quality with the redevelopment of 16,000 m² around the Church of the Port and the pedestrianisation of Rusca and Pacho streets, the redevelopment of the southern sections of François Guisol, Arson and Fodéré streets;
These developments will meet the expectations of the people of Nice, local residents, shopkeepers or simple walkers and will provide solutions in terms of mobility, sustainable development and quality of life.
The public consultation, which took place in September-October 2020, enabled the project to be refined. Following an architectural competition, the jury of which met in October 2020, the Atelier Lion Associés/Egis Villes et Transports/Marc Aurel grouping was chosen as the team. Their project emphasises the unity and sobriety of the square, refocused around the church, while including mobility and green spaces as an integral part of the project, with a work combining aesthetics and calm. Delivery expected in 2025.
The total cost of the project for the Ile de Beauté square and its surroundings is estimated at 5.6 million euros.
Tramway, lines 4 and 5
Objectives: to improve transport services to the west and east of the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan area
This new tramway line will undoubtedly play a key role in the construction of tomorrow’s attractive cities, which will be calmer, greener, with a more attractive and improved living environment, where the environment will be purer. Line 4 will complete the existing transport network by serving the municipalities of Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var.
The objectives of this new line are multiple:
- To improve the transport offer, to reduce road traffic, to reduce the share of the car. The tramway will be able to carry around 300 passengers; 13 stations are planned instead of 4 stops for the TER;
- Facilitate travel: the journey will take less than 20 minutes with a frequency of around 8 minutes;
- Strengthen intermodality with the creation of three park-and-ride facilities at Saint-Laurent-du-Var station, Val Fleuri and the Sauvaigo Sports Park in Cagnes-sur-Mer;
- Contribute to the fight against CO2 emissions in order to achieve a 55% reduction by 2030 as part of the 2025 Climate Plan;
- Re-qualify public spaces by widening pavements and planting shared spaces. In fact, 182,000 m² will be upgraded from facade to facade and 800 trees will be preserved and planted (100 in Nice, 200 in Saint-Laurent-du-Var and 500 in Cagnes-sur-Mer).
The 7.1 kilometre long line will run from Nice Saint-Augustin to Cagnes-sur-Mer. It will link the Nice Saint Augustin / Grand Arénas district to the city centre of Cagnes-sur-Mer, passing through the main economic hubs of the airport, the Arénas in Nice, the railway station and the city centre of Saint-Laurent-du-Var, the Cap 3000 shopping centre, the Arnault Tzanck Institute, the Vespins district, the city centre of Cagnes-sur-Mer and the racecourse in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Line 4 of the tramway is scheduled to come into service in 2026.
With a length of 7.6 kilometres, this line will pass through the Paillons valley, departing from the future Arts and Culture Centre (currently the Exhibition and Convention Centre) and not from Pont-Michel as initially planned. This line will serve three municipalities: Nice, La Trinité and finally Drap. It will have 16 stations and will serve a catchment area of 50,000 inhabitants and 28,000 jobs in 25 minutes (i.e. 10 to 15 minutes less than by car). Delivery planned in 3 phases:
- Phase 1, to be completed in early 2026: Pont Michel section to Ariane Nord, with service to the Bon Voyage district
- Phase 2, to be completed by mid-2027: Ariane Nord section to La Trinité
- Phase 3, to be completed by 2028: Pont Michel section to the future Palace of Arts and Culture of Nice (1.9 km long and 4 new stations)
- Phase 4, to be completed by 2028: La Trinité to Drap section with the creation of 1.5 km of linear track, 2 stations and a new 250-space park-and-ride facility in Drap.
At the same time, 7.6 km of safe, two-way cycle paths will be built, contributing to the objective of the cycling plan: +160 km by 2026 in the Metropolitan area.
Large Landscape Park of the Var plain
A second green corridor to the west of Nice
At the foot of the future tramway lines 2 and 3, just 5 minutes from the Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport and crossed by the cycle paths that are being developed throughout the Plaine du Var, a large landscaped park will be created, revolutionizing the landscape of western Nice, from the Charles Ehrmann stadium to the Allianz Riviera stadium.
It will be the green lung of the new Nice that is taking shape in the west of the city.
- 30 hectares is more than double the size of the “Promenade du Paillon” which has 12 hectares.
- 30 additional hectares for nature and for people.
- More than 20 hectares of permeable soil
This exceptional natural area will extend without interruption over more than two kilometres, from the Charles Ehrmann stadium in the south to the Allianz Riviera. Its width will be equivalent to that of the Promenade du Paillon, i.e. about 100 metres. It will develop over a first section of 1.2 km bordering the Cité des Sports facilities. It will then cross the Boulevard du Mercantour by a large pedestrian and cycle bridge and will continue to the north of the Arboras as far as the equestrian club. Finally, it will be extended by paths through the agricultural zone to Saint-Isidore.
This Côte d’Azur “Central Park” will be planted with trees and will include pools, sports facilities and leisure areas.
Scheduled for completion in 2026/2027.