CRFS Lab description

Main aim and objectives of the CRFS Lab

Marseille CRFS Lab promotes policy innovation at a city and metropolis level, agricultural and social innovation at neighbourhood level in order to tackle inequalities of access to sustainable food (geographical, cultural and economical barriers).

The key specific objectives, identified needs or problems that the CRFS Lab aims to address:
  • Producing sustainable food in the city, with our experimental pilot farm Capri, a place to test different production methods and measure the ecosystemics benefits of urban agriculture
  • Making sustainable and healthy food accessible for all with several projects conducted in the northern areas of Marseille. The idea is that this type of food should not be a privilege for some, but a right for all.
  • Sensitising both citizens and local public administrations in order to promote an agroecological transition of Aix Marseille Provence territory
  • Connecting : foster the local urban agriculture network and accompany and coach “project leaders” looking to install themselves as urban farmers.
  • Identify available land in Marseille that can be used for urban agriculture. The idea is to work closely with local authorities in order to secure access to farming land for new actors
  • Create vocations and train for new professions
The primary solutions that the lab intends to pursue during project implementation:
  • Create and foster a network of urban agricultors and sustainable food actors at the metropolis level to gain efficiency, create new synergies and help local food production reach its consumers
  • Develop a mobile grocery shop enabling access to sustainable food directly at the heart of poor neighbourhoods in Marseille. This innovation helps reduce the geographical and symbolical gap of sustainable food for poor populations
  • Organisation of large scale events (48h de l’agriculture urbaine, Journées des Agricultures Urbaines en Méditerranée), diffusion of our documentary collection (400 books that has to see with our thematics)
Living Lab Team
  • Jean-Baptiste Rostaing
  • Marion Schnorf
  • Alina Bekka
  • Thibault Soules
  • Sophia Djitli



Marseille, the capital of Provence, is a 2600 years old Mediterranean city. It has been a hub for food and cultural exchanges since antiquity. Marseille is the second largest city in France, geographically characterised by an important urban sprawl and a strong presence of natural areas right next to the City (National Park of Calanques). Since the 60s, the city has been through an economic crisis that led to a strong social crisis dealing with weak public policies to face it. Now at the forefront of cultural exchanges and innovation, Marseille is a fertile ground to experiment and showcase what the future of CRFS can be.

Marseille’s region is traditionally a region of fruits and vegetables production and was self-sufficient in the 1950s. Today, Marseille’s food autonomy is 2,22% (UTOPIES, 2018). 90% of the local production is dedicated to exportation, whereas 90% of what is consumed is imported (Chambre d’Agriculture 13, diagnostic PAT). Marseille still has a great potential for a local production both in terms of pedoclimatical conditions but also in terms of available land (around 230 ha, CA13 + CITAG, 2018). The city itself is also characterised by huge disparities in terms of access to sustainable food (geographical and economical access) with multiple urban food deserts localised in the north of the city.

Cities2030 partner organizations participating in the Marseille CRFS Lab

La Cité de l’agriculture (CITAG, P40) is a non-profit organisation created in 2015 and based in Marseille, France. Its major purpose is to support the social and ecological transition in the Marseille metropolis area and more. La Cité de l’agriculture is the only regional and national Cities2030 partner in France Through the development of different projects, la Cité de l’agriculture experiments new models for food production, distribution but also consumption, accompanying the transition of our food and agriculture model. La Cité de l’agriculture reaches to a wide variety of partners at the local, regional and national level in order to leverage the Marseille CRFS Lab objectives.