November 29, 2017 > November 30, 2020

The Common Lands Trail at the Mucem

Suburban Walks


The Metropolitan Trails enter the museum

A Showcase in Mucem’s new permanent exhibition

  • As part of the exhibition Connectivités.
  • November 29, 2017 to November 30, 2020
  • Gallery of the Mediterranean 2 – Mucem – Marseille
  • Learn more about the Metropolitan Trails


Extract from the media release of November 20, 2017 :

“Bringing together creators of Metropolitan Trails from 9 cities around the world, this 8m long showcase retraces a new type of cultural and urban development famous since the GR2013, but initiated in Bordeaux in 1999.

From the creation of the GR2013 in Marseille (frequented by several hundred thousand hikers) to the recent launch of the Sentier Métropolitain du Grand Paris (SMGP), the Metropolitan Trails (Médaille de l’Urbanisme 2013 of the Académie d’architecture) have become essential urban infrastructures for the emergence of a metropolitan culture. 

These trail creators from around the world will hold their first general assembly on November 28, 2017 at the Mucem, with a goal of publishing a charter in February 2018. »


  • Common Lands – Greater Bordeaux Trail – 1999
  • Sentieri Metropolitani – Greater Milan Trail – 2008
  • GR2013 – Greater Marseille Trail – 2013
  • Between two seas – Greater Istanbul Trail – 2013
  • SMGP – Greater Paris Trail – 2014
  • Houmani – Greater Tunis Trail – 2014
  • Provence Express – Greater Avignon Trail – 2015
  • Büro für Städtereisen – Greater Cologne Trail – 2017
  • InspiralLondon – Greater London Trail – 2017


Official showcase cartel :

Metropolitan Trails is a collective created in 2014, which builds hiking routes in metropolises around the world. By assembling archives of these trail writers, this showcase highlights an emerging practice that opens up a new creative space, at the crossroads of art and urban design, ecology and tourism. This showcase, designed for the exhibition Connectivités, will evolve throughout the exhibition.


  • With archives of : Sophie Anou, Sameh Arfaoui, Gianni Biondillo, Jens Denissen, Yvan Detraz, Matthieu Duperrex, Alexandre Field, Charlie Fox, Baptiste Lanaspeze, Paul-Hervé Lavessière, Geoffroy Mathieu, Nicolas Mémain, Denis Moreau, Julie de Muer, Boris Sieverts, Hendrik Sturm, SAFI, Serkan Taycan. 
  • Curators : Baptiste Lanaspeze and Paul-Hervé Lavessière.
  • Scenography : Alexandre Field and Olivier Bedu
  • Graphic design : Jérôme Bourgeix

Suburban Walks

An extraordinary journey
into the ordinariness of our contemporary cities


> Discover the Common Lands Trail of Greater Bordeaux

A dive into the urban interstices

The Suburban Walks are exploratory walks through the outskirts of the cities. They cross and connect hybrid and fragmented landscapes, composed of housing estates, social housing complexes, old towns, expressways, industrial and commercial areas, car parks and electricity pylons, but also unexpected parks and gardens, forgotten forests, old paths and especially uncountable abandoned spaces where wild nature develops, out of sight. This diffuse and involuntary nature represents a tremendous potential for escape and resourcing, a kind of exoticism of proximity.

The suburbs, a land of adventure and exploration

The suburban area has developed to respond effectively to our modern needs for housing, travel, consumption and production.

The resulting chaotic urbanism is often considered useful but uninteresting, and above all devoid of the qualities that make up the city and the pleasures it provides.

However, the urban outskirts have richness to reveal, resources that could change our viewpoint and practices, and build a sense of suburbanity : a huge territory, a great diversity of landscapes, an unsuspected architectural heritage…

Could we not, from this point of view, consider the suburban area as a land of adventure and exploration, like the great natural spaces ? And imagine hiking in the outskirts as we do in the mountains or in the countryside ?

The suburbs offer a new hiking experience. The hybrid and eclectic nature of the territories crossed, where places, atmospheres and sounds follow one another like a continuous zapping, constantly stimulates our senses and gives the walk a new dynamic.


The origin of the project

In 1999, Yvan Detraz, then an architecture student and co-founder of Bruit du frigo, led a 3-month, 1000 km walking expedition through the Bordeaux suburbs to map neglected spaces and paths. Before Google map and with the help of a simple geographical map, this mission sought to reveal the potential for escape from the Bordeaux suburbs and to develop a walking culture. (see “Zone sweet zone”).

It is from this founding experience that the concepts of the Suburban Walk and the Suburban Refuge were born.

If in 1999, nobody imagined hiking in the middle of the housing estates or along the ring road, today more and more curious people want to discover their city differently by venturing off the beaten track.

The collective suburban walks that we organise around Bordeaux bring together a large and eclectic public : families, students, walking clubs, seniors… The Suburban Shelters, which offer a unique immersive experience, are also very successful.

It is to respond to this search for exoticism of proximity and to share our knowledge of the territory and its hidden treasures that we have created the Common Land Trail.


The Metropolitan Trails Network

The Common Lands Trail of Bordeaux is a member of the Metropolitan Trails Network, created in 2017 in Marseille, on the occasion of the exhibition about the Metropolitan Trails organized at the Mucem Museum (as part of the permanent exhibition “Connectivities”).

This national network (Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Avignon) was created as a continuation of the international Metropolitan Trails network (Milan, London, Cologne, Istanbul, New York…) initiated and piloted by Baptiste Lanaspeze (editor – Editions Wildproject) and Paul-Hervé Lavessière (Geographer).

The first National Assises of the Metropolitan Trails were organised on 8 November 2018 at the Mucem in Marseille.


” The Metropolitan Trails are public spaces of a new kind. Transport infrastructures, tourist facilities, off-wall cultural centres, citizen platforms, training areas… they allow us to rediscover our living spaces and to foster the emergence of a common culture.
Urban hiking is a social phenomenon, a deep-rooted movement. Coming from the worlds of art and planning, it now interests a large public.
Metropolitan trails are an international innovation, born in France. »

Extract from the website : National Network of Metropolitan Trails


> all projects

At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.