Marseille - Citizens’ protests groups in Marseille have claimed that the city is facing its biggest crisis in decades as city-centre residents fear historical buildings, which have turned to slums, could crumble and fall. Grief and fury spread through the heart of the city after eight people were killed in November when two buildings collapsed near the picturesque old port.
Citizens’ protests groups are asking how a city that has spent millions in the past decade on high-profile waterfront museum projects and attracting cruise-ship visitors could abandon residents and architecture to fatal neglect.
In 2015, a government report warned that 40,000 dilapidated and dangerous homes were a health or security risk to 100,000 people, many in the city centre, but campaigners say little was done. Hundreds of families in Marseille have been evacuated from flats feared to be unsafe in recent months. Around 1,000 people – many on low incomes – are still sleeping in hotels, waiting to be rehoused.