A report published by L’Express, a French daily, revealed the most sought-after cities in France to live and work.
The leading newspaper took into consideration a variety of aspects, including transport systems, weather, housing facilities, and even air quality, to identify the best city in France for professional life.
After considering these key factors, L’Express named Nantes as France’s most-suited city to work and live.
What Makes Nantes An Appealing Investment Destination?
Once the capital of the Dukes of Brittany, the historic city of Nantes, has since old times, been an important seaport and a thriving industrial centre.
Over the years, the picturesque city, nestled on the estuary of Europe’s ‘last wild river’ Loire, has successfully carried its rich heritage and industrial background into the modern era, to emerge as one of France’s most culturally vibrant business hubs.
Today, Nantes has undoubtedly transformed into a cosmopolitan metropolis, which welcomes both tourists and professionals from around the world.
The Globalization and World Cities Research Network — a global think tank that surveys world cities on economic growth — graded Nantes as a Gamma-level world city in 2012, for its exceptional contribution to the world economy.
Not just economic development, the city also excels in affordable housing, urban planning, waste disposal, energy management, transport system, higher education, social aid, and healthcare.
It is, therefore, no surprise that Fortune 500 companies like Airbus, and many other big names, are coming to Nantes to expand their businesses.
Recent studies show that 6,000 to 9,000 people enter Nantes every year, to live, and to set up their careers.
The increasing influx of multinational companies, and the human resource needed to support such companies, is dramatically turning the cultural capital of France into a dynamic commercial nerve centre, bursting with energy and optimistic vibes.
A City – Open To Business – Always
According to the official website of the city, Nantes embraces 3,500 new companies every year. The city, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, is the country’s 2nd most-successful commercial hub after Paris, in terms of employment growth.
Modern-day Nantes is a home to 25,000 business establishments, and 200 research centres, mapping over 275,000 jobs in diverse sectors.
Sector activities include food processing, healthcare, shipbuilding, engineering, aeronautical, communication, robotics, digital technology, and renewable energy solutions.
The Jules Verne Technological Research Institute, MSH Ange Guepin, the Institut d’Etudes Avancées, and Association des Chercheurs Étrangers, are premiere Nantes-based research institutes that organize R&D programs dedicated to the field of manufacturing and advanced technologies.
Many foreign researchers attend these 5-star institutions every year. Maison des Chercheurs Etrangers (MCE) provides accommodation for visiting researchers and their families.
Here are the key figures that illustrate why Nantes is the best place to work and do business –
- Nantes-Saint Nazaire is the number 1 port on the Atlantic coast.
- STX Europe and DCNS have their presence in Nantes, making the city a prime centre for shipbuilding and marine engineering. STX Europe is a subsidiary of South Korean STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, while DCNS is a French industrial group specializing in naval defence and marine renewable energy.
- After Rungis, Nantes is the second-biggest market in France for agricultural produce.
- The city houses Euronantes, the largest mixed-use urban complex on the Atlantic seaboard.
- Nantes is France’s 3rd most successful industrial city.
- With 2 sites, Nantes is the second-largest site for European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, Airbus.
Enjoy The Comfort Of First-Rate Transport Links
Commute options can make or break your day at work, and at home. Keeping that in mind, Nantes commits to deliver a hassle-free experience to all office commuters, through a wide range of transportation facilities.
The city, noted for its efficient public transport, has an extensive network of trains, buses, trams, and river shuttles.
The city’s tramway system, like most European tramways, disappeared in the 1950s, but in 1985, Nantes became the first city in France to develop a modern tramway network with three lines, covering a total distance of 27.0 miles.
There are several low-cost, domestic and international air transport services as well, which operate to and from major European cities.
What’s more? City residents can also avail the 26 TGV trains, reaching Paris in less than two hours.
A City Of Cultural Vibrancy
A vibrant cultural scene is not only about history and fun, but also a major source of revenue and job creation.
Nantes is the heart of classic French culture, housing some of the best symphony orchestras in the country. One of France’s top opera companies, Théâtre Graslin, is a stone’s throw away from the city centre.
There are 34 auditoriums and theatres, 15 museums, innumerable art galleries and artist studios to explore in Nantes, all portraying the deep-rooted history and cultural heritage of the city.
The famous historical sites of Nantes, and the city’s age-old architectural heritage, attract tourists from around the world. Several ancient monuments and art installations dot the landscape of Nantes, which are impossible to miss during your leisurely strolls around the city, or on your way to work.
The Renaissance-style Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, Château des ducs de Bretagne, is a must-see for tourists and residents alike.
The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of Nantes, a Roman Catholic church, depicting Gothic architectural traditions, is also worth a visit during your stay in the city.
The City Heightens Your Quality Of Life
In 2004, Time Magazine’s special edition – “Secret Capitals of Europe” – ranked Nantes as the best French city for quality of life.
Nantes, however, captured global attention when it received the European Green Capital Award in 2013. The European Commission reviewed a range of critical facets before naming Nantes the Eco-Capital of Europe, including the city’s social infrastructure, its efforts to decrease CO2 emissions and air pollution, its public transport system, and biodiversity.
The city has 8,320 acres of green space in the form of parks and gardens, which showcase plants and flowers from around the globe.
Rue Stanislas Baudry in Nantes accommodates the world’s largest hanging botanical garden, the Jardin des Plantes.
The botanical garden is open every day without charge, but the greenhouses attract a small fee.
A City To Work Hard And Play Harder
Nantes knows for sure how to pamper its inhabitants. Though the city is much quieter than some of France’s bigger urban centres, it still has a great mix of bars, nightclubs, cafes, markets, and restaurants to keep you engaged.