OKRA works on ecological development of the south coast of France

OKRA is appointed to develop a resilient strategy for the Mediterranean coastline between Sète and Perpignan in France. The project is one of the five sites selected as part of the government initiative ‘Ateliers des Territoires’, aiming at stimulating the ecological transition in several regions of France. 

Mainly undeveloped until the 1960s, the area has faced a rapid change from then through the ‘Racine’ national infrastructure project, which consisted in setting up 20 coastal resorts, interspersed with natural areas meant to accommodate temporary camping activities. This development was intended to capture part of the flow of tourists heading to Spain, by offering a cheap holiday offer. This development enabled the Languedoc to become a tourist destination, providing holiday destinations to the greatest number while preserving a large part of the coast from anarchic development.

Vulnerable area
The area, encompassing 220 km of coastline, is now an economic driver for the region, home of a population of 450,000 inhabitants and visited by 8 million tourists per year. However, natural processes of river and coastal flooding as well as coastal erosion affecting the coastal areas, are being intensified by climate change. The area is becoming increasingly vulnerable, as more than 50% of the population and jobs are located in areas of high flood risk.

Through an intensive participatory process involving a series of on-site workshops, visits, consultations and forums, the project will look at generating new ideas to envision the resilient coastal landscape of the future for 2050 and 2100 and will act as a platform to:

  • Raise awareness of the significance and consequences of coastal flooding and erosion hazards in the region,
  • promote the emergence of projects that reduce the vulnerability of the communities and landscapes and increase their resilience,
  • ‘dream’ collectively about the territory of tomorrow, in a laboratory approach free from current regulation constraints which will have evolved by the end of the century,
  • stimulate similar approaches in the Occitanie region.

The project will kick off this fall with an immersive workshop with the design team and a wide group of stakeholders.

In collaboration with INterland, DEUX DEGRÉS, Connivence Conseil, RAMBOLL, FONCÉO-CITÉLIANCE and ADAMAS.