// Circle the Med 2022
Benoît Payan is a French politician who has been serving as Mayor of Marseille since 2020. He is a member of the Socialist Party and the youngest mayor of Marseille ever. He became the mayor of Marseille after the resignation of the ecologist Michèle Rubirola, who was, for five months, the first woman to lead the city. Upon her resignation for health reasons, Michèle Rubirola designated Benoît Payan as her natural successor. His election marked the return of the Socialist Party to Marseille City hall, 25 years after the Gaston Defferre era, then the mandate of Robert Vigouroux.
Payan has been a socialist activist since he was 20 years old and became the leader of the Socialist group when he was elected as a City Councilor in 2014. In July 2019, Payan was one of the founders of Printemps Marseillais ("Marseille Spring"), a broad left-wing electoral alliance seeking to end Gaudin's quarter-century in office in the 2020 elections. Since winning the mayoral election, Payan has been dedicated to making the city of Marseille a better place. He has a vision of making the city a greener, fairer, and more democratic city.
The young mayor is filled with passion for Marseille while he fights against unworthy housing and territorial inequalities. He has worked for the school renovation plan which was implemented at the start of the mandate and has started many projects which include the renovation of schools across the city. His highly anticipated ”school renovation plan” is often described as the largest project initiated by Marseille since the 1960s. This plan should see its first sixteen projects start in 2022. It concerns 174 schools out of the 470 in total in Marseille. This amazing project represents a total investment of 1.2 billion euro and it will completely transform the school system in the city of Marseille.