Bordeaux, FR

Bordeaux, Port of the Moon has been on the World Heritage List as a living urban site since 2007. This site takes its name from the crescent shape of the river by which the city was established more than 2000 years ago. The urban extension has developed on the left bank while the right bank, subject to flooding, has remained rural for a long time. Bordeaux Port of the Moon includes 1810 ha within the 19th century boulevards on the left bank and the riverbank on the right bank.

The city has always faced changes in its population, which have led to major urban changes.

Founded more than two thousand years ago, Bordeaux grew rich in the 18th century thanks to the wine trade but also with the triangular trade and the slave trade. Then, a new middle-class and commercial social class appears. To accommodate this new population, strong personalities such as Intendant Tourny transformed, enlarged, and made the city a real urban. It becomes a considered and designed project.

In 1930, after the trauma of the First World War, the municipality of Bordeaux starts a major urban planning program, the Marquet Plan, which aimed to develop the city’s public facilities and soften the consequences of the 1929 crisis. Bordeaux therefore emphasizes the importance of offering its inhabitants quality public spaces.

Between the 1960s and 1980s, the city suffers urbanization acceleration and the need for housing led to major urban operations such as the creation of two new districts (the Grand Parc and the Lac district), or the renovation of the Mériadeck district, which mark the appearance of new housing and public space forms in the city.

In the 1980s, Bordeaux was nicknamed “the sleeping beauty”. Indeed, the city was for many years considered dreary and dirty. It was in 1995 that the new municipality started a major urban project with the aim of reviving the city, in particular by highlighting its exceptional heritage. This large-scale urban project aims to restore confidence to private investors by restoring public space. 

In 2020, the changeover to an ecological town hall shows the importance that the inhabitants attach to the ecological transition. This symbolic change gives Bordeaux a new direction: building the city of tomorrow.

Today, the Bordeaux metropolis brings together 28 municipalities and has just over 800,000 inhabitants. It is also a city and a metropolis of the future which has 450,000 jobs, 2 universities and 16 Grandes Ecoles. This growing working population is struggling to find housing, especially for the youngest.