Alpine Industrial Landscapes Transformation

L'Argentière-la-Bessée/La-Roche-de-Rame, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Former Péchiney aluminium / AFP steel foundry plants of l’Argentière-La Bessée / former MGI calcium-metal plants for la Roche de Rame) (Hautes –Alpes)

These two former plants of Durance high valley, from early 19th century origin, were historically in link with local hydropower. Aluminium production was for more than a half century, the economic lung of this high mountain region. This heavy industrial activity ended in the 20th century's last decades (full factories closure around 2010).

The economy of the valley is now mainly based on tourism (ski tourism for a large part and, in summer, around the high mountain natural spaces, rivers, lakes...), and also boosted by a regular gain of population (with a large share of retired) in quest of a quality living environment. We are here not so far from the big Marseille area.

Currently, the aluminium plant's brownfields have been partially reinvested by l'Argentière's urbanisation. The ancient Calcium metal plant is located in a more rural environment, a part away from a nearby village. Local communities are currently mobilised to remedy the sever pollution problems of these two sites and in search of solutions for their becoming, in regard of a territorial sustainable development.