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Aubagne city center
Aubagne city center
Coat of arms of Aubagne
Coat of arms
Aubagne is located in France
Coordinates: 43°17′27″N 5°34′15″E / 43.2908°N 5.5708°E / 43.2908; 5.5708Coordinates: 43°17′27″N 5°34′15″E / 43.2908°N 5.5708°E / 43.2908; 5.5708
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône
Arrondissement Marseille
Canton Aubagne-Est and Aubagne-Ouest
Intercommunality Pays d'Aubagne et de l'Etoile
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Gérard Gazay
 • Land1 54.9 km2 (21.2 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Population2 46,093
 • Population2 density 840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 13005 / 13400
Dialling codes 0442
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.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Aubagne (French pronunciation: ​[oˈbaɲ], Aubanha in Occitan Provence according to the classic norm, or Aubagno according to the mistralian norm) is a commune located 17 km (11 mi) east of Marseille in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in southern France. Aubagne is the main city of the Agglomeration community of Pays d'Aubagne et de l'Etoile and the sixth largest city of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône by its population. It is the capital of santons and hosts many cultural events each year, at the foot of the Garlaban. The French Foreign Legion has its headquarters there. Public transport has been free at the point of use since the year 2000.


The Middle Ages[edit]

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 Seigneur d’Aubagne, François des Baux, supported the Duke of Anjou. This support was conditional upon the Duke helping to restore the queen to her throne.[1]

On April 4, 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 the dependencies, the seigneuries of Saint-Marcel, Roquefort, le Castellet, Cassis, and Port-Miou which were dependencies of the barony of Aubagne, La Fare-les-Oliviers, and Éguilles. In return, Philippe de Lévis had to act as guarantor for Odon de Villars and his wife Alix, and Viscount Raymond de Turenne. If Odon and Alix failed to respect the terms of the agreement, they would have to pay 50,000 florins to the viscount. [2]


It is located in the Huveaune valley and surrounded by the mountain ranges of Garlaban, and Sainte-Baume to the north and Douard to the south.


Historical population
Year Pop.   ±% p.a.  
1793 7,230 —    
1800 5,610 −3.56%
1806 6,620 +2.80%
1821 6,122 −0.52%
1831 6,349 +0.36%
1836 6,481 +0.41%
1841 6,208 −0.86%
1846 6,131 −0.25%
1851 6,482 +1.12%
1856 6,765 +0.86%
1861 7,232 +1.34%
1866 7,408 +0.48%
1872 7,658 +0.55%
1876 8,027 +1.18%
1881 7,885 −0.36%
1886 8,239 +0.88%
1891 8,154 −0.21%
1896 8,400 +0.60%
1901 8,724 +0.76%
1906 9,614 +1.96%
1911 9,744 +0.27%
1921 10,271 +0.53%
1926 11,707 +2.65%
1931 13,085 +2.25%
1936 13,949 +1.29%
1946 16,061 +1.42%
1954 17,639 +1.18%
1962 21,211 +2.33%
1968 27,938 +4.70%
1975 33,595 +2.67%
1982 38,561 +1.99%
1990 41,100 +0.80%
1999 42,588 +0.40%
2008 46,093 +0.88%


In 2011, the municipality’s population was 45,800. It is possible to track the change in population through the censuses that have been carried out in Aubagne since 1793. Beginning in the 21st century, municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants take a census every year in the form of a survey, contrary to other cities that have an actual census every 5 years.[3][4]


Since 1965, the city of Aubagne has elected 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, there was 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. Edmond Garcin, of the Community party, was elected mayor from 1965 to 1987.[5][6]

In 2001, the resignation of Jean Tardito brought Daniel Fontaine (French Communist Party, PCF) to the position of mayor. In 2008, 4 candidates were part of the first round of municipal elections: Daniel Fontaine for The United Left (La gauche unie) and the civil society, Sylvia Barthelemy for the Union for a Popular Movement (L'UMP) and the New Centre (Nouveau Centre), Jean-Marie Orihuel for the Democratic Movement (France) (Le Mouvement Démocrate), and Joëlle Melin for the National Front (France) (le Front National). In the second round of elections, the United Left, the Civil Society, and the Democratic Movement joined together to form the Left union list which was renamed the “rainbow”.[7]


Regional trains link the Gare d'Aubagne railway station with Marseille and Toulon. Aubagne was the first commune in France to be completely surrounded by autoroutes: the A50 Marseille-Toulon, A52 Aubagne-Aix-en-Provence and the connecting motorway A501. From 2009, Aubagne made bus travel zero-fare.[8][9] A 14-kilometre (9-mile), two-line tram network is planned. This project is criticized as it is not common for a city of that size.[10] Line 1 will be from the station to Le Charrel and Line 2 will be from the station to La Penne-sur-Huveaune. Construction started in 2012 for an opening of the first phase in 2014. The tram is long-term projected to be linked with the one of Marseille.[11][12] The tram will also be zero-fare,[13] making it one the first zero-fare tram in the world, with Tallinn.[14]

Environment and Environmental Policies[edit]

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.[15][16]

The city of Aubagne conducts its environmental, social, and economic policies in collaboration with neighboring communities to help enhance sustainable development and improve living conditions.

Public transit: Since May 15, 2009, municipal buses have been free, which has reduced the municipality's transportation-related ecological footprint: 15% more buses have been put into service, and bus ridership has increased 175%, with 35% of these users due to modal shift. A tramway should open in 2014.[17][18][19]

Compiègne and Châteauroux have done the same but with goals that are more socioeconomic: making downtown more dynamic, improving buying power, reducing isolation, etc.


In popular culture[edit]

Aubagne is referred to frequently in the film Manon des Sources. It is the birthplace of Marcel Pagnol, the French novelist, playwright and filmmaker who wrote the novel on which the film is based.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Louis Barthélemy, Inventaire chronologique et analytique des chartes de la maison des Baux, Marseille, 1882, Charte 1692.
  2. ^ Geneviève Xhayet, « Partisans et adversaires de Louis d'Anjou pendant la guerre de l'Union d'Aix [archive] », Provence historique, Fédération historique de Provence, volume 40, no 162, « Autour de la guerre de l'Union d'Aix », 1990, p. 409 et 410 (note 41).
  3. ^ "Municipality of AUBAGNE: demographic balance, population trend, death rate, birth rate, migration rate". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  4. ^ "Insee - Definitions and methods - Statistical operation: Population census". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  5. ^ "Le conseil municipal". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  6. ^ "Aubagne toujours communiste ? - Le blog de resistanceetamour". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "En Bus". Ville d'Aubagne. 
  9. ^ "Transports en commun gratuits". Ekopedia (in French). 
  10. ^ "L'agglomération du Pays d'Aubagne vote son projet de tram". La Provence. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  11. ^ "Aubagne : les travaux du futur tramway ont commencé. - France 3 Provence-Alpes" (in (French)). Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  12. ^ "Aubagne orders Citadis Compact". Railway Gazette International. 7 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Aubagne | L'enquête publique débutera le 18 juin pour le tramway d'Aubagne". La Provence. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  14. ^ Marcel Robert (2009-05-15). "Aubagne aura le premier tramway au monde entièrement gratuit!". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  15. ^[xml]=F31488.xml&tx_ecomarquage_pi1[rub]=Productiondechaleuralenergiesolaire%28chauffagesolaire%29&tx_ecomarquage_pi1[xsl]=Noeud.xsl#tx-ecomarquage-chapitre-financement
  16. ^ "Collecte de déchets". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  17. ^ "Free public transport: from social experiment to political alternative? - Metropolitics". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  18. ^ "Transports en commun gratuits et report modal : un exemple à suivre ?". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  19. ^ DVV Media Group GmbH. "Aubagne orders Citadis Compact". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 

External links[edit]