Boulbon thesis



Project Brief:

Boulbon is a small medieval agricultural village in Provence, France. The village has a population of approximately 2,000 people. The village is located in a recess of La Montagnette with a large fertile plain to the west used widely as farmland for growing flowers, herbs and cereal crops. The village is unique in comparison to most of the villages in Bouche-du-Rhone because the urban makeup is tailored around its topographical location. Recently agricultural land to the South has been developed into a collection of villas and holiday homes for tourism. The concern is that if future development follows in the same vein the qualities that make Boulbon an attractive village will begin to decay leaving a sprawling mass of villas and holiday homes.

In the past decade, with the introduction of the TGV train to Marsailles, farmers and home owners have been turning away from agriculture and turning to tourism as the main source of economy. Large areas of agriculural land that come attached to properties are becoming unused as houses are purchased by people with interests outside of agriculture and even outside of Boulbon.

My thesis is based on the introduction of means to support both tourism and agriculture to make them mutually beneficial to the inhabitants of Boulbon. In the thesis I propose an urban strategy that will aim to reduce an urban sprawl in the commune and maintain the ideal that makes Boulbon such an attractive, picturesque farming village that the Bouche-du-Rhone is famous for. Included in this urban strategy will be three focal sites, a mountain walk, an agricultural laboratory and a new town centre.

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