At 9 AM on November 5, 2018, a pair of buildings in central Marseille collapsed, taking the lives of eight people hailing from Algeria, the Comoros, France, Italy, and Tunisia. This devastating toll of urban decay reflects both the diversity of the district and the hardship of living in Marseille, a city marked for centuries by migration, poverty, and social struggle. Divided along ethnicity and class lines, with wealthy conservatives dominating the south and an energetic but pauperized community of immigrant origins in the north, Marseille highlights the tensions stemming from problematic governance, a lack of housing-stock maintenance, a constant influx of migrants, widespread privatization of services, and rapid, profit-driven, and destructive post-industrial urbanization.
Migrant Marseille: Architectures of Social Segregation and Urban Inclusivity examines this complex city through a series of case studies of its built environment, from Le Corbusier’s iconic Cité Radieuse to La Castellane, the impoverished public housing project that is the birthplace of football star Zinedine Zidane. The essays, photographs, and drawings illustrate the impact of migration on space, architecture, and territory. Migrant Marseille tells of an urban reality in which migration is present at every turn, and offers tactics and strategies to support social and spatial integration.