Jardin des Aures

This collective garden was initiated in 2000 by families of the neighbourhood who wanted to meet and garden together in the former wasteland of Terre Nouvelle, North of Marseille 15th District. It has a land of 2,000 m2, of which 1,000 m2 are cultivated, and is composed of 10 plots, including a collective one. The project received the support of the Protestant Parish of Marseille North and local association Accueil & Rencontres. Today, Jardin des Aures has developed as a more heterogeneous eco-site combining cultural, educational and gardening activities.

Contact details

Function / Organisation : Head of Accueil et Rencontres , Jardin des Aures

E-mail : accueiletrencontres@gmail.com
Facebook : https://fr-fr.facebook.com/accueiletrencontres/
Website : http://accueiletrencontres.wixsite.com/accueil
68 Chemin des Baumillons,
13015, Marseille, France


  • Accueil & Rencontres association, which manages the collective garden
  • Protestant Parish of Marseille North
  • Network of Mediterranean Solidarity Gardens
  • Association for the Preservation of Peasant Agriculture (AMAP)
  • Public authorities: City of Marseille, Aix Marseille Provence Metropole


  • Allowing populations with limited access to green spaces to garden and, above all, to meet and consume their own production
  • Promoting social diversity in the Aures neighbourhood, one of the most vulnerable areas of Marseille
  • Educating people of all ages to healthy food, products’ quality and seasonality through partnerships with schools, associations and social centres

Legal framework & Budget

The Accueil & Rencontres association was created in 1987 by the Protestant Parish of Marseille North to manage social actions in Marseille’s Northern district, including the green area where Jardin des Aures was developed. The land is used through a 90-year lease with the City of Marseille. The garden is supervised by the association volunteers’ administration council and employs 2 paid staff (1.5 full time equivalent).


The collective dynamic is at work along different axes: primarily food, with cooking and nutrition workshops animated by volunteers, then environmental education for children, through partnerships with social centres, primary and middle schools of the district (400 children of all ages benefited from this service since 2006). Composting awareness workshops are held once a month, free of charge and open to all. The garden also hosts training courses in organic gardening, in partnership with social centres and an AMAP, dedicated mainly to vulnerable populations from social housing nearby.

>Innovation & Outcomes

Jardin des Aures is an «eco-site» in the middle of social housing blocks, in the Northern districts of Marseille. It is managed permanently by an association dedicated to social projects, ensuring its smooth running over the years. The garden offers inhabitants a social and environmental-friendly place of living. This unifying tool serves first of all to bring together people around a project and a common sense, with the support of local public and private actors.

SQM Cultivated
2 000
Jobs created

Main obstacles & Next steps

Today, Accueil & Rencontres is supporting 15 other local gardens operated by people who do not have a garden at home, often in financial difficulty. The replication of the project will depend on the availability and affordability of land in a context of decreasing public subsidies. Developing a more sustainable economic model on the long term will be a key success factor to allow the hiring of a full-time employee under a stable contract.

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Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund