The Citadel of Arras was transferred to the Arras Urban Community (CUA) in June 2010.
The Citadel was open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only between 2 April and 16 October 2011 with access to a limited area around the parade ground.
However, the Citadel has been open to the public daily since the end of April 2012.
There will be several different phases of conversion of the citadel, expected to take up to approximately 2030 to complete.
The CUA, owner of the Citadel since 2010, is now responsible for managing all aspects of the site including development, maintenance of public spaces and communications. The Citadel is a private property belonging to the urban community ofArras, and is open to the public. The CUA, limited by time and the sheer extent of this heritage (72 hectaresof military wasteland,... of square meters of useful surface area), intends to implement the master development plan by putting some buildings and land up for sale or rental, with the long-term objective of transforming the Citadel into a distinct neighbourhood in the town.
It has developed a comprehensive communication campaign regarding the future of the site targeting promoters, local stakeholders and the general public as evidenced by the meeting of consultation held on the weekend of 24 and 25 April 2010 which attracted 9 000 participants. 5,000 questionnaires were duly returned.
The Urban Community has started off the conversion process by redeveloping a block of flats into offices to house all its departments.
As it is important to ensure that the neighbourhood functions smoothly and harmoniously in the long-term, that is in about 15 years time, some means were drawn up to this end:
- a set of specifications for the transfer of buildings and land,
- a local development plan (PLU) by CUA departments,
- sets of specifications related to the development of the Citadel
- a set of regulations for the use of the Citadel.
Local inhabitants have been encouraged to take an interest in the site through open days and events.
The Authority has also managed to create favorable conditions for investment, and to sell and rent buildings or land, while ensuring the coherence of the project in the long term.