A Varois architect is counting on installing a vast floating island in the harbor of Toulon, France. He contends to have received an initial agreement and estimates that it will take 10 years to complete this tourism-minded project.
There are already the Palm Jumeirah and The World, two immense artificial archipelagos created on the open sea in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. One day the Ile de Provence could join them with the slightly crazy project a French architect counts on installing in the harbor of Toulon, France. In an interview with the daily paper Ouest-France, the Varois architect, Christophe Jatareu-Conte, details his intentions. Christened "Ile de Provence," the site would extend over 30 hectares and would be exclusively devoted to maritime themes.
Its inventor hopes to see a gigantic aquarium, businesses, hotels and restaurants that are partially submerged there, as well as a diving center, open-air marine flora spaces and even a research center and a maritime college to raise ecological awareness among the youth. This realization "which has been developing for more than 20 years, would allow Toulon to acquire a global visibility and to go from seasonal tourism to year-round tourism," he confides to Ouest-France.
Contrary to what they did in Dubai, where the large artificial islands were filled in with sand, this one would be partially floating. According to its designer, the main accommodation buildings would act as supports for a system of piles staked in the ground, between 30 and 40 meters under the island, and floating barges. Even if this image may seem hairbrained, Christophe Jatareu-Conte explains that he has already received agreement from the marine headquarters.
According to him, once he has received all the administrative green lights, the project could be finished within ten years. And while he is betting on ecology for this realization, he is counting above all on playing the economic card in order to convince the most reserved. So, he is highlighting the possibility of generating 6,000 direct jobs and making the Toulon economy more prosperous from year-round tourism. We will see if the argument will be convincing.
Do you think this is a feasible idea to increase tourism and the economy? What has you city done to increase economic prosperity? Are there any tourist attractions that your economy relies on? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French on Le Figaro, here.
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