Saint-Nazaire style: the pleasure of doing things together It is clear that Saint-Nazaire has changed and transformed itself.

The environment of Saint-Nazaire is now better known, but now it increasingly appears to be a real town with an amazing quality of life. Solidarity, helping each other with a “village spirit”, building future projects together – here people join forces to make everything more lasting and solid.

Collective intelligence is second nature

Inherited from the tradition of farmers helping one another or the workers’ mutual movement? Openness to the world springing from the tradition of welcoming sailors and travellers? Saint-Nazaire’s commitment to involve its residents in making public policies is a real one, in all sorts of ways. From listening to residents depending on their age groups to themed consultations processes on culture or sport, building things together is second nature here.

Seven new-generation neighbourhood councils, with criteria encouraging a good social mix and the presence of all age groups, have been thinking hard about ways to improve the town. On the planning side, citizen workshops are supporting the renovation of the sea front, the review of the Local Urban Development Plan (PLU) and the creation of new neighbourhoods.

Words from young people

Les Irréductibles au lancement de Jeunes en Ville en 2016

This is the name of a big survey run in 2016 by adult education associations and the Town Council in order to establish a Saint-Nazaire Youth Council and imagine new facilities specially for young people. This operation, given the name “Jeunes en ville” (Young people in town), is now in its second season, with new volunteers, and is enthusiastically preparing the opening of the town-centre premises run by and for young people.

Cultural discussions

Having fun, reading, dreaming... culture also arouses public debate in Saint-Nazaire. After a year of consultation, mobilising associations and professional and amateur artists and the general public it has been possible to redirect the town’s cultural policy. The sports consultation process will be organised in 2018 along the same lines.

Social innovation under discussion

Le carrefour des solidarités

The unprecedented step of redirecting social policy in close consultation with stakeholders on the ground is under way. Its stated aim is to rethink the philosophy and detail of those policies so they can better deal with the real situations experienced by residents. Analysing needs, evaluating the communal system of social action, renovating sheltered accommodation, a partnership protocol with the authorities at Département level... nothing escapes consideration. Ambitious targets are being set: better support for the most vulnerable people, fighting energy poverty and homes unfit to live in, developing budget support solutions and more. After several months of dialogue between residents, associations and the Town Council, about 20 proposals will be the starting point for framework deliberations that will guide Saint-Nazaire’s policy on these issues.

1+1=3 !

Breaking down the barriers between education, youth affairs and business by being bold enough to release the energies of sector based on a common view of the future. That is the ambition of “1+1=3”, an initiative by the Loire et Mer Young Entrepreneurs’ Centre supported by Saint-Nazaire Town Council. Young people, schoolchildren and students, alongside businesses, are taking charge of common issues and becoming active citizens, going beyond their initial beliefs and positions, to share experiences and suggest new models. These positive and cooperative experiences have been a great success in Saint-Nazaire. In 2016, as many as 2,000 people came together for the closure event for the first year. It was perhaps the biggest collective intelligence assembly ever organised. 1+1=… 2000!

Neopolia: doing business together

L'Elbe Princesse II dans le bassin de Penhoët

In Saint-Nazaire togetherness also means economic strength. Neopolia brings together more than 200 businesses within a collective dynamic rarely seen in industry. Established and promoted by entrepreneurs, the Neopolia network represents more than 20,000 jobs. It helps SMEs/SMIs to diversify and boost their competitiveness to chase big orders, and it also strives for balanced industrial development in the region. Neopolia promotes five business clusters – Marine, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Rail and Renewable Marine Energies – which have generated combined turnover of €42 M in the last five years.

The boom in associations

La rentrée des associations en septembre 2017

Culture and human rights, employment and education, health, social and humanitarian, sport and leisure – Saint-Nazaire loves teamwork in any area. And its very active associations provide proof of that. More than 650 associations are present in the region, with several thousand members, involving all generations.

The town has a wealth of associations, each one specialising in a different area. With their volunteers, employees and members, they are part of the town’s history but, more than that, they make an essential contribution to the economic, social and citizen development of the town of the future.

The town council lends a strong hand

Equipment, venues, provisions – the town council has opted to support Saint-Nazaire’s associations in their everyday activities. Many premises are made available to them including meeting rooms, multi-use rooms and big halls for events. A multi-event room is available for them in cell 12 of the submarine base. Practical and comfortable, it will be fully equipped (stage, sound, bar, etc.) and adaptable mobile equipment will be available for all events.

A total of 17 million euros is spent on 321 associations.

Private-public: stakeholders in unison

Economic operators and institutional stakeholders work in close cooperation in the Saint-Nazaire area. Shared ambition: to create an ecosystem of excellence. Experimental philosophy: building with confidence. Evidence provided: more than a billion euros in investments announced for the next five years.

Industrial-port area: the 12 labours of Hercules

The industrial-port area is the leading centre of activities in the Saint-Nazaire basin. Since 2017, it has undergone considerable transformation as part of an overall scheme to improve its transport network (road, maritime and river), accessibility and security. The aim is to ensure the industrial competitiveness of a leading region for many industrial activities and to improve convenience and quality of life in the Méan Penhoet neighbourhood which is right next to busy industrial activity.

With almost 25,000 direct and indirect jobs and an added value of 3.4 billion euros

This large-scale development, with a budget of more than 30 million euros, is led by several partners: the State, Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port, the Pays de la Loire Region, the Loire-Atlantique Département Council, Saint-Nazaire District Council and local businesses. The scheme’s main phases include moving Boulevard des Apprentis more than 150 m. The changes come into operation in 2019. This demonstrates that this is a region where the future is taken seriously.

Saint-Nazaire Audacity: the region and talent

Saint-Nazaire has understood very well that innovation is one of the main vectors for a region’s competitiveness. As part of this dynamic, the Saint-Nazaire Audacity award has, for several years, been rewarding the region’s stakeholders (businesses, residents and associations) who are rising to the challenges and can demonstrate innovation and boldness. All kinds of talent can be nominated in the fields of social innovation, corporate social responsibility, the environment, green technologies, digital technologies and the creation of an innovative project or service. The Audacity Awards honour projects that will determine region’s future.

Les Audacity Awards were set up under the initiative of La Carene, with particular support from the Local Initiative Centre (CIL) and its partners Total, Airbus, STX Europe, Saint-Nazaire Conurbation, Cap Atlantique and the Nantes Saint-Nazaire International Chamber of Commerce.

Nantes + Saint-Nazaire, the multiplier effect of the metropolis

Saint-Nazaire is not short of assets in terms of the economy, culture and quality of life. In association with Nantes, at the heart of the Nantes/Saint-Nazaire metropolitan area, the town can be seen on another scale. It is all about opening itself up to the sea while maintaining the industrial feel of the leading economic centre of the Greater West of France.

A new scale for the region

Nantes and Saint-Nazaire share a destiny. This area, always open to the world, has overcome great crises, showing its resilience, with an unusual capacity for invention and creativity. With 2.3 billion euros in public investment planned between now and 2020, the Nantes/Saint-Nazaire metropolitan region is among the most proactive French conurbations.

The coastline: a strategic ambition

Saint-Nazaire and Nantes are naturally on the same side. They have sometimes been set against one another, but they are united by the natural link of the Loire, sharing strong character traits: impulsive creativity, an industrial inclination and a taste for solidarity. Saint-Nazaire and Nantes have decided to build a common future as an Atlantic metropolitan area integrating history – the shipbuilding industry, port activity, reconstruction after bombing – and successfully grafting on economic activities, an exciting cultural scene and an attractive range of housing.

800,000 population today, 100,000 more within 20 years

Brought together in a green metropolitan area at European level, Nantes and Saint-Nazaire have a common strategic ambition. They have decided to preserve the richness of the estuary and open themselves up still further to the sea. The Saint-Nazaire area has an amazing coastline which the metropolitan area wants to make the most of, with a large reserve of areas and sites to exploit, from Saint-Nazaire’s outer harbour to the wet dock at Pornichet.

A green metropolitan area on a human scale washed by the sea

Metro, work, bed? No! In Nantes/Saint-Nazaire everyday life is more about the office in the daytime and the beach or going out in the evening. The sea is 45 minutes from the centre of Nantes and two minutes – yes, really! – from the middle of Saint-Nazaire.

In the image of the “Journey to Nantes” event, spilling into the whole estuary and itself punctuated by the “Estuaire” contemporary art route, social activity and cultural life are encouraged and creative here. Life is so good that every year thousands of new residents move in, attracted by a metropolitan area offering the busy life of a city while maintaining a human scale. Limited property prices, a highly-regarded health system and easy transport in very green, maritime surroundings. Here you can breathe!

Art contemporain : Suite de triangles de Felice Varini dans le port de Saint-Nazaire

Economic attractions, from ships to digital industries

The Nantes/Saint-Nazaire area is the leading national centre for shipbuilding and the second biggest aeronautical concentration (with two Airbus factories). It also has many potential assets in the process of emerging, from renewable marine energies to digital industries. In fact, Nantes/Saint-Nazaire is in the leading band in France for the growth of jobs in digital industries, creating more than 4,000 over the last few years. And this is only the beginning…

Promoting digital: a regional dynamic

Le CIRV, centre industriel de réalité virtuelle à Montoir-de-Bretagne

Both Nantes and Saint-Nazaire councils consider digital industries a factor for change that must be given meaning, direction and values. This is based on principles guiding the course of the respective public policies: attractiveness, collective action, equality and simplicity. It is in this cooperative spirit that the area organises “Nantes Digital Week” and “Saint-Nazaire Digital Week” to provide time for networking and discovery based on digital issues in several areas: art and heritage, scientific and technical culture, equality and accessibility, economy and employment and video games and gamers. Today, with more than 200 associated events, it is the biggest digital event in France.

€11 m is the budget devoted by Saint-Nazaire District Council to developing digital industries in the area.

This regional dynamic forms part of the set of common projects already under way, such as calls for proposals making it possible to find digital start-ups and industrial groups using a plug-in and support structures for young people to set up digital businesses with the Maia Mater programme. This was developed for the first time in the summer of 2017.


Copyrights : Ville de Saint-Nazaire : Christian Robert, Martin Launay, Hélène Defoy, Blandine Bouillon, Nicolas Dumez, Bruno Bouvry Imagine Air | Saint-Nazaire agglomération tourisme

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