France: Tackling soil pollution with nature-based solutions

In episode 3 of our new season of How Could We?, we talk to Mathilde Rubinstein, Deputy Director of La Citadelle de Marseille.

Since December 2021, the association La Citadelle de Marseille is managing the Fort d’Entrecasteaux, a historical monument that used to be owned by the military. Their initial goal was to use this land in the city centre to create an urban garden and open it to all citizens. But a basic soil analysis showed a great amount of pollution left from military use as well as citizen use (think fireworks).

Their project suddenly took a completely different turn. How would they communicate about this pollution without alarming the neighbourhood? And how could they still open the space to the public? What could they do with the space?

Through their project REMEDSPACE, Mathilde and her colleagues created workshops and discussions with a variety of stakeholders, from local governments to researchers, and citizens, to talk about the situation and co-create the future of the space together. They even invited a ceramic artist, Louise Nicollon des Abbayes, who led workshops answering questions such as: How could we capture the memory of a site? How could we represent the landscape? What is heritage?

REMEDSPACE is one of the fourteen projects that were selected as part of the EIT Community New European Bauhaus initiative.

This episode was presented by Anne-Sophie Garrigou and produced by Bárbara Mendes-Jorge.




Listen to our first episode, where we talk to Anabella Costache, about how to support Ukrainian people fleeing the war to integrate in Timisiora through artistic gatherings and sharing of history, and to our second episode, in which we talk to researchers from ASD Publics about how to design sustainable and inclusive play areas for and with children with ASD and their families.

How Could We? is a series of conversations about building hope, curiosity, and excitement for a just and desirable future that is compatible with our planetary boundaries.

Subscribe to How Could We? to not miss the next season. If you’re interested in solutions making a real difference in Sustainable Forestry and Land Use, check out season 1.

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Spotify