There is a very simple reason why so many people wish to live in Monaco; it is a destination unlike any other. The prestige, luxury, and beauty that the principality offers is unparalleled.
Yet, with a population of approximately 38,000 but only a total area of 2.02, Monaco is also the most densely populated country in the world, and – after Vatican City – the second smallest country. Furthermore, since 2012, 600 more people have been settling in the principality every year. Space within its borders is running out.
In light of this, Prince Albert II and his government have approved planning to extend into the Mediterranean. This spectacular project – ‘Anse du Portier’ – is set to be completed by 2025.
This is not the first time Monaco has executed such an ambitious land reclamation project. It was Prince Albert’s father who first saw the potential in the process. Unable to expand his principality into France, Rainier III – ‘The Builder Prince’ – looked towards the sea for a solution, first creating the Larvotto beach district in the early 1960s, followed by the Fontvieille industrial area in the 1970s. The result was an overwhelming success, increasing Monaco’s surface area by 20%.
Although this development will see the principality’s official territory increase by just 3%, the impact it will have on Monaco will be extraordinary. This €2billion project – financed entirely by private construction companies – will create around 6 hectares of land, including housing for nearly 700 inhabitants, commercial areas, and a new port. There will be an emphasis on public spaces and facilities within the outdoor areas too. Indeed, the very centrepiece to the development will be a 17 metre-high hill nestled within the landscaped public park.
Early concerns that development will have a negative impact on the existing ecology and environmental beauty of Monaco have been carefully considered and addressed. In inviting development bids, the government insisted that each one demonstrate the most rigorous environmental standards with “sustainable urban design” being its guiding principle. As well as ensuring greenspace throughout the urban development, 40% of the new district’s energy needs will come from the sun and sea. It’s through this seamless synthesis of technology, beauty and ecology that the new development’s contemporary image will remain in keeping with the state’s existing landscape and urban identity.
Where once were limitations, now stand a diverse range of opportunities. The development of Anse du Portier will breathe fresh life not only into the beach district but into the whole of Monaco, presenting opportunities to property companies and creating jobs in development, construction, leisure, and beyond.
© 2017 – Rosengart – All rights reserved
Pictures: Valode & Pistre