#53 - 6 November 2020

See you online for the first edition of the Meetings of Medium-sized Cities!

La Fabrique de la Cité organizes the first edition of the Meetings of Medium-sized Cities on November 25 and 26, 2020. Follow online this series of conferences dedicated to the exploration of the trajectories of medium-sized cities. The results of a survey commissioned by La Fabrique de la Cité from the Kantar and Potloc institutes about “The French and Medium-sized Cities” will exclusively be presented.

Sometimes highlighted for their quality of life, sometimes criticized for their lack of activity, medium-sized cities are subject to representations as contradictory as their reality, which is diverse and complex. Is there such a thing as “a” medium-sized city? The answer to this question cannot be given without field work.

Why does one leave medium-sized cities? On the contrary, why does one stay or return there? Should specific territorial strategies be developed for this type of city, making the concept of the medium-sized city a relevant category of action? Or are there local particularities, their regional context or their ability to fit into networks at different scales that prevail in the making of the different trajectories of medium-sized cities? These are all questions that will be raised during these online debates in order to gain a closer understanding of medium-sized cities’ current challenges.

Among the twenty or so speakers who are taking part in this first edition of the Meetings of Medium-Sized Cities are elected officials (Jean-Marc Vayssouze-Faure, Mayor of Cahors, Boris Ravignon, Mayor of Charleville-Mézières, Sylvain Robert, Mayor of Lens, Jean-Christophe Fromantin, Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Frédéric Masquelier, Mayor of Saint-Raphaël and Robert Herrmann, former president of the Eurométropole de Strasbourg), researchers (Hélène Peskine, permanent secretary of the Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture, Raphaële Bertho, lecturer in Arts at the François Rabelais University of Tours) and artists (writer Aurélien Bellanger).

To register and attend the Meetings, follow this link : https://www.eventbrite.fr/e/billets-premiere-edition-des-rencontres-des-villes-moyennes-127138756443


No time to read? La Fabrique de la Cité has got you covered.

CLIMATE CHANGE BEYOND THE METROPOLIS The coastal city of St Augustine (Florida) faces important flooding issues that are worsened by climate change and the rise of sea levels, a worrisome matter to its 14,000 inhabitants. Extreme weather events put more than 60% of its archaeological zones – and thus the heritage tourism the city heavily relies on – at risk. A resilience strategy in the face of these challenges requires substantial funding. In St Augustine, the city has already invested tens of millions of dollars in flood mitigation projects. – Romain Morin, Research Assistant

→ Related: our project about medium-sized cities.

This is what Jean-François Debat, mayor of Bourg-en-Bresse and deputy president of the French association of midsized cities Villes de France, invites us to do in a recent interview. He calls for stakeholders to build “a network made of the metropolises and peri-urban and rural communities in our catchment area” and for the development of collaborative projects in the fields of culture, higher education and sport. – Sarah Cosatto, Research Officer

WHAT ABOUT U.S. MIDSIZED CITIES? Cedar Rapids, Sioux Falls, Madison, Little Rock… These American cities were shortlisted as some of the “10 best cities to live and work in 2020”. Why? Because they feature urban development and/or infrastructure projects, strong and growing local economies, housing affordability, “thriving communities”… and remind us that the population threshold to be qualified as a medium-sized city varies a great deal from one country to the next. – Sarah Cosatto

– A pleasant living environment, a relationship of trust with customers, employee loyalty, “the solidarity of the local ecosystem”... Many factors point to the advantages of locating a company in a medium-sized city “where it's good to be an entrepreneur. In order to increase their presence there, companies are implementing various strategies: hiring young local professionals, supporting young entrepreneurs or collaborating with local stakeholders. – Sarah Cosatto

“MINI LOCAL AMAZON” – Michel-François Delannoy, head of national programs at the French Bank of the Territories, notes that the Spring 2020 lockdown has led downtown stores to speed up their transition to digital technologies. On 2 November 2020, the city of Limoges launched Shop in Limoges, a website described as a “mini local Amazon that brings together some 40 merchants, with the aim of increasing their visibility on the Internet and boosting their business. – Sarah Cosatto

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