Aubagne city centre
|o Mayor (2014-2020)||Gérard Gazay|
|54.9 km2 (21.2 sq mi)|
|o Density||840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||74-701 m (243-2,300 ft) |
(avg. 101 m or 331 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Aubagne (French pronunciation: [o'ba?], Aubanha in Occitan according to the classic norm or Aubagno according to the Mistralian norm) is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southern France.
The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aubagnais or Aubagnaises.
The commune has been awarded three flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.
Aubagne was the main city of the former Agglomeration community of Pays d'Aubagne et de l'Etoile, and is part of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis since 2016. It is the sixth largest city of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône by population.
It is the main producer of Santon figurines and also hosts many cultural events each year. The French Foreign Legion has its headquarters in Aubagne. Public transport has been free at the point of use since the year 2000.
Access to the commune is by the A50 autoroute from Marseille which continues south to Toulon. The A501 and A52 autoroutes branch off the A50 in the commune and merge to go north to Aix-en-Provence. Numerous departmental roads go through the commune including: the D96 which goes north to Roquevaire, the D2 which goes east to Gémenos, the D8N which comes from Marseilles and goes south-east to Cuges-les-Pins, the D41E which goes south to Cassis, and many other connecting roads within the commune. There are several smaller towns and villages in the commune apart from the main town: Les Arnauds, Les Grands Mellets, Pinchon, La Martelle, L'Agrie, La Coueste, La Thuiliere, and Font de Mai. A large proportion of the commune is urban with mountainous terrain to north and south
The main railway from Marseille passes through the commune splitting into two lines - one going north-west and one going south with a station in the town.
Regional TER trains operated call at the Gare d'Aubagne railway station, liking the city with Marseille and Toulon. Local public transport in the city, operated under the Lignes de l'agglo brand, is provided by a network of buses and, since 2014, a single 2.8-kilometre (2-mile) tram line with seven stops between the railway station and Le Charrel. This project has been criticized, as it is not common for a city of its size. Construction started in 2012 and the first phase opened on 1 September 2014, with service provided by eight Alstom Citadis Compact trams. An eastern extension of this line to Les Paluds, as well as a second line to La Penne-sur-Huveaune in the west, has been planned, with a long-term project to link the network to the Marseille tramway.
In 2009, Aubagne made bus travel zero-fare, a scheme which was subsequently extended to the tramway following its opening. This makes the Aubagne tramway the first in the world to be completely free for all users (the Tallinn network, by contrast, is only free for city residents).
The death of Queen Joanna I of Naples began a conflict of succession as to who would become the head of the County of Provence. The Union of Aix, a confederation of cities in the region of Provence, supported Charles, Duke of Durazzo, rather than Louis I, Duke of Anjou. By the spring of 1382 the Lord of Aubagne, François des Baux, supported the Duke of Anjou. This support was conditional upon the Duke helping to restore the queen to her throne.
On 4 April 1402 in Brantes, at the foot of Mont Ventoux, and in the presence of his wife Alix des Baux, Odon de Villars bestowed upon his nephew Philippe de Lévis the fiefs of Brantes, Plaisians and their dependencies: the Lordships of Saint-Marcel, Roquefort, le Castellet, Cassis, and Port-Miou which were dependencies of the barony of Aubagne, as well as La Fare-les-Oliviers, and Éguilles. In return, Philippe de Lévis would be surety for Viscount Raymond of Turenne for the agreement between Odon de Villars, his wife Alix, and himself. If Odon and Alix failed to respect the terms of the agreement, they would have to pay 50,000 florins to the viscount.
Azure, a Roman letter A of Or interlaced with a letter V the same, in chief 2 fleur-de-lis the same, in base a sea of Argent.
Between 1965 and 2014, Aubagne has elected three Communist mayors: the municipal council is composed mainly of communist, socialist, and other left-leaning members. Still, a significant portion of the population supports centre, right-of-centre, or even far-right political positions. In the second round of elections in 1988, both a representative of the French Communist Party (Parti communiste), Jean Tardito, and a representative of the far-right National Front party (Front National), Joëlle Melin, were elected. Edmond Garcin, of the Community party, was elected mayor from 1965 to 1987.
In 2001, the resignation of Jean Tardito brought Daniel Fontaine (PCF) to the position of mayor. In 2008 there were 4 candidates in the first round of municipal elections: Daniel Fontaine for The United Left and a civil society, Sylvia Barthelemy for the UMP and the New Centre, Jean-Marie Orihuel for the Democratic Movement, and Joëlle Melin for the National Front. In the second round the United Left, the Civil Society, and the Democratic Movement joined together to form the Left Union list which was renamed the "rainbow". In 2014, the mayorship shifted as Gérard Gazay (UMP) was elected to the position of mayor after an alliance with Sylvia Barthelemy during the second round.
List of Successive Mayors
|1792||1793||Jean Baptiste Domergue|
|1870||1871||Jean Louis Henri Dieudonné Celly|
|1919||1925||Etienne Marius Florent Boyer|
(Not all data is known)
Agenda 21 sets the terms and conditions for sustainable development in Aubagne which includes providing free public transit, offering a recycling program, encouraging energy conservation and energy demand management, launching awareness campaigns in schools to promote sustainable development and eco-citizenship, and giving incentives for purchasing solar panels. More than 4,000 individual bins and 15,000 recycling bags are available to residents.
The city of Aubagne conducts its environmental, social, and economic policies in collaboration with neighbouring communities to help enhance sustainable development and improve living conditions.
Communal transport: Since 15 May 2009 municipal buses have been free and the Tramway of Aubagne will also be when it opens in 2014. This has reduced the commune's transportation-related ecological footprint: 15% more buses have been put into service, and bus usage has increased by 175%, with 35% of these users from modal shift.
Aubagne is one of the most indebted cities in France. According to the latest report of the Court of Auditors of PACA (July 2013), the debt amounts to 157.6 million Euros. According to a ranking published by Le Journal du Net, Aubagne would place 3rd for debt per head of 3,685 Euros per capita - about 5 times the national average. Only Cannes and Levallois-Perret, much richer communes, are higher. The total indebtedness of 119.9 million euros in 2010 exploded in 2013 to reach EUR 157.6 millon. The debt servicing payments have at the same time multiplied by 3.1 from 8.626 million euros to 26.933 million euros between 2010 and 2011.
The listing for Aubagne by the French Fitch Ratings agency in 2010 was "BBB-": "We have downgraded the city of Aubagne due to a strong presence of structured products, along with a very low savings rate and high debt loads. The rating has changed from "A-" to "BBB-" - the lowest category for this investment type" Subsequently the city has not wanted to pursue the issue of its credit status.
In 2009 Aubagne municipality renegotiated certain loans considered "toxic" which were based on risky products contracted with the ABN AMRO bank (loans now owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)). Risky loans have been converted to fixed-rate borrowings: less advantageous but less risky. The Court of Auditors in 2013 noted that these renegotiations resulted in additional financial burden borne by the commune of the order of 50 to 70 million Euros (19 million for the Dexia and Caisse d'Epargne loans and 25 to 43 million for the RBS loan).
Investments in the commune are about half the average for French communes in the same stratum: approximately 13.3% of revenues against 31.4% according to the administrative accounts for the commune in 2012.
Finally the Observatory of subsidies has repeatedly criticized the management of the city of Aubagne, particularly for subsidies not related to the commune or representing a "waste of public money".
The 2012 Administrative Accounts for the commune mentions a result of 662 euros per capita tax for Aubagne against 482 euros for the stratum of comparable communes - or higher taxes by 37%.
Aubagne is part of the "Top 20" of towns who have increased their taxes the most in 2012. The city ranks 12th in France for the highest increases in taxes in 2012 according to the website Challenges.fr
Aubagne is the birthplace of Marcel Pagnol, home to the University of Image and Sound (Satis department), 9 cinemas (Cinema Palace and Pagnol), and an International Film Festival.
Aubagne is referred to frequently in the film Manon des Sources.
The Aubagne Ciné Passion association was founded in late 1989 by Charles Villani at a time when cinema was in crisis. Rapidly bringing in many members, its activity was intense and from 1992 until 1999 it organized the 1st Festival of Passions sponsored by Ticky Holgado and Gérard Jugnot. Thereafter each year the Festival featuring long and short films takes place in October or November. Numerous directors, actors, screenwriters, and producers come to present their works in advance of their premier at the Festival of Passions: Jean-Claude Carrière, John Malkovich, Christopher Lee, Lio, Jean-François Stévenin, Jacques Marin, Carmen Chaplin, Paul Vecchiali, Mathieu Demy, Julie Gayet, Benoît Magimel, Pierre Sullice, Olivier Austen, Luc Palun, Catherine Jacob, Marc de Jonge, Michel Voletti, Pomme Meffre, Yannick Bellon, Franck Fernandel... and of course Ticky Holgado and Gérard Jugnot.
In 2000 the City of Aubagne request 3 associations: Alphée (photos), Aubagne Ciné Passion (long films), Méridiens (short films) to merge to organize an international film festival. The association of Alcimé was then created, chaired by Charles Villani for its first year and its first festival called FIFA (International Film Festival of Aubagne) that endured. In 2001 differences of perspective caused the departure of Aubagne Ciné Passion from the Alcimé structure. Charles Villani passed the chairmanship to Jean Michel Descombes (General Delegate of the Young Filmmakers Festival of Saint-Jean-de-Luz) and, in 2002, the association went to the nearby commune of Gémenos to organize the RCG (Cinematographers Meetings in Gémenos). Gisèle Mezzina became the president of Aubagne Ciné Passion. Since 2007, the last year of the RCG, the association continues its activities with its circle of members.
Each year Aubagne has a series of regular and one-off events:
Argilla, Festival of ceramics and a pottery market.
There are also the Scientific Tuesdays of Aubagne
There are there are 30 schools in Auagne including:
The SATIS department (Cinema/Audiovisual), attached to the University of Provence, is also located in Aubagne.
For the centenary of the Battle of Camarón on 30 April 1963 the war memorial, which had been placed in the Vienot barracks in Sidi Bel Abbès, was repatriated to Aubagne. This monument depicts a globe flanked by four legionnaires. The bronze statue was designed by sculptor Henri Pourquet. The weight of the monument is 80 tonnes.
The French Foreign Legion Museum is located at Aubagne in the Viénot barracks: it commemorates all of the military campaigns of the Legion in history with displays showing the evolution of uniforms, weapons, and decorations until today. The crypt houses the wooden hand of Captain Jean Danjou.