Accueil » Projets » Urban forward planning up to 2030 in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

Urban forward planning up to 2030 in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

Start date End date Budget Funding
01/09/2013 01/06/2014 45 000 €


The municipality of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is located in western French Guyana, on the border with Surinam. Between 1967 and 2010, its population grew sevenfold to exceed 38,000 inhabitants. Between 1999 and 2010, the rate of demographic growth was 4.3%, and since 1990 the gross birth rate (45%) has reached a level only rarely encountered in developing countries. Under this demographic pressure, the town is developing rapidly and is poorly managed, particularly with a huge increase in informal, substandard urban settlements.

In this context, and in its role as provider of financial and non-financial support to local public authorities and establishments, in 2013 the AFD, together with the Municipality of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, commissioned GRET to conduct a study entitled “demographic dynamics and urban policy in French Guyana: the case of Saint-Laurent du Maroni”. This work focused on territorial forward planning up to 2030, with a view to projecting various possible future scenarios, following strategic orientations and decisions.

The forward planning study consisted of producing a decision making tool in two parts:

  • demographic projections and corresponding requirements in the run-up to 2030

According to the most likely scenario, these projections demonstrate that Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni will have a population of 135,000 in 2030. Requirements will be colossal, in terms of housing (26,500 new housing units, two thirds of which are social housing) and education (185 new classes by 2030), job creation (20,000 new companies to create by 2030, 90% of which in self-employment). These projections make it possible to define a “gradual” scenario that highlights the effects pursuing the current public policies would have on the town, in light of the trends observed (especially the eightfold multiplication of informal urbanization), to deduct the negative external aspects of such an evolution and to calculate the minimum direct cost of inaction.

  • strategic scenarios on the future of the town according to a joint approach:

An endogenous development scenario with no exceptional State resources. For the town, this would mean prioritising the search for conditions of economic growth higher than demographic growth, by putting the main resources into job creation.

An interventionist and catch-up scenario, based on a high level of State intervention. This would mean first and foremost solving the distortions in development between Saint-Laurent and the rest of French Guyana via a catch-up policy: strengthening of public institutions, upgrading of the town according to a polycentric model, development of housing that would be accessible to the poorest, and transformation of the sub-regional economic capital.