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The Croisette gets a makeover! Phase 3 of the renovation begins

Cannes is reinventing the legendary Boulevard Croisette, the main attraction in the festival city which hasn't been modernised in 60 years.


A scene on the Croisette. C. Ville de Cannes

A mythical thoroughfare born in the middle of the 19th century, the Croisette is an unrivalled showcase for French know-how and luxury, a site for international events, but above all a place for strolling that is dear to the hearts of the people of Cannes and appreciated by tourists. However, it has not seen any structural development since 1960 and has gradually become worn out. In accordance with David Lisnard's mandate project, the Cannes Town Hall undertook in 2017 a vast programme of embellishment and redevelopment of this legendary thoroughfare, a source of attraction and jobs, in keeping with its upmarket, event-driven and convivial nature.


After the completion of the first two phases - the widening of the beaches from November 2017 to March 2019 and the elegant renovation of the seaside establishments from September 2018 to March 2020 - the Municipality is launching the third and final stage of this major project. Thus, the restructuring of the underground networks begins on Monday 25 October. Then, in the spring of 2022, the winner of the major international architectural competition to redevelop a brighter and more attractive Croisette will be unveiled. This will mark the start of the final redevelopment and modernisation work on the boulevard between early 2024 and late 2025. Modernising its identity, giving more space to pedestrians, facilitating daily use and events, reinforcing its aesthetics, safety and vegetation, these are the fundamental challenges of the project initiated by David Lisnard to reinvent and continue the legend of one of the most prestigious sites in the world.


David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes, stated:

"The Croisette is the symbol of Cannes and one of its economic engines. For 60 years, no structural development has been carried out there. Contrary to common belief, it has received less public investment than the other areas of the city over the last few decades, whereas there is a great dynamic of private investment in the neighbouring establishments. However, we need a public space with excellent services, for the inhabitants, the visitors and for the attractiveness of the established shops which make it the first avenue in the world for the number of luxury brands. Thus, the Cannes Town Hall is working for a high-quality, top-of-the-range project, faithful to its identity and up to the aesthetic standards that this mythical thoroughfare deserves. This is the objective of the major international architectural competition that was initiated last January, the winner of which will be chosen in April 2022. The four firms, specialists in urban planning and of international renown, still in the running must put themselves at the service of this emblematic and legendary place to give it a new splendour and luminosity."



Marine renewable energy to create a hydrothermal network

As part of the sustainable restructuring of the boulevard, preparatory work on the wet underground networks (drinking water, wastewater and rainwater) must be carried out prior to the surface works. In particular, it is essential to replace the obsolete sewage system.


Following the geotechnical investigations carried out in the spring, Cannes Town Hall and the Cannes Lérins Agglomeration have chosen to create a microtunnel of 1600 millimetre diameter over a length of 2.2 km, from the esplanade of the Square de la Roseraie to the Esplanade Maréchal Leclerc. This innovative process will make it possible to bring together all the networks and to create, as part of the actions of the Municipality and the Intercommunality in favour of sustainable development, a thalassothermal system (two chilled water ducts and two hot water ducts). The latter will recover heat energy from the sea, through waves and currents, in order to supply certain buildings, including hotels, with heat and cold.


At the request of the mayor of Cannes, all the construction site areas (the five entry and exit shafts of the microtunnel, the two workers' living quarters and the sections of road affected by the trenches) will be embellished with aesthetic tarpaulins for the duration of the operations.


These underground works will begin on Monday 25 October 2021 on the south side of the Croisette and will be completed by the end of 2023, for an estimated amount of 27 million euros (excluding VAT). They will be suspended in December 2021 so as not to disrupt commercial and tourist activity during the Christmas and New Year holidays. During the entire construction period, vehicle and bus traffic will be maintained. Adjacent streets will remain accessible via diversions as the work progresses.


At the request of the mayor of Cannes, all the worksite areas (the five entry and exit shafts of the microtunnel, the two workers' living quarters and the sections of road affected by the trenches) will be embellished with aesthetic tarpaulins for the duration of the operations.


These underground works began on Monday 25 October 2021 on the south side of the Croisette and will be completed at the end of 2023, for an estimated amount of 27 million euros (excluding VAT). They will be suspended in December 2021 so as not to disrupt commercial and tourist activity during the Christmas and New Year holidays. During the entire construction period, vehicle and bus traffic will be maintained. Adjacent streets will remain accessible via diversions as the work progresses.


What will the new Croisette look like?

We won't know until next spring with the major architectural project of the Nouvelle Croisette will be annoinced in April 2022


In order to give the famous boulevard the aesthetics and modernity it deserves, the municipal project to embellish the Croisette is the subject of a major international architectural competition.


Launched in January 2021, thirty-two entries were received in early April. Among them, the world's leading urban planning and architecture firms responded to the Cannes project.


At the end of July, four candidates were selected for the "offer" phase, which runs until 15 December. The objective set by David Lisnard is simple: the architects must be at the service of the area, for a bright and modernised Croisette, upmarket and friendly, and which gives more space to pedestrians.


The winner will be announced by the Cannes Town Hall in early April 2022.


The surface works will begin in January 2024

As soon as the selected architectural project is known (April 2022), preliminary technical studies will be launched for a period of eight months. Operations will start at the beginning of 2024 for delivery at the end of 2025.


Faithful to David Lisnard's mandate project, the planned developments are in line with the budgetary orthodoxy initiated by David Lisnard since 2014, with a reduction in the debt and total fiscal restraint. They will include :

  • A more spacious and safer pedestrian walkway (along the seafront as well as along the shops) and dressed with a new stylish and high quality paving;

  • New street furniture designed by a designer;

  • Safer pavements and pedestrian crossings;

  • A bicycle path that is better integrated into the urban landscape;

  • Preserved public transport with an improved and regular service;

  • The reinforcement of video surveillance;

  • Improved night-time lighting.


As with the underground network works, vehicle and bus traffic, and access to residences, hotels, beach restaurants and adjacent streets will be maintained or adapted on an ad hoc basis as the work progresses. Quality pedestrian paths will be marked out and secured.




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