They seem determined to change their life. According to the latest edition of the Territories Barometer, carried out this year by Ifop after deconfinement, 23% of working people living in large cities are considering moving. And, when asked where they could ideally live, 50% of the inhabitants of large cities answer that they want to live primarily in an average city (between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants). She doesn’t surprise him. “The French seem to rediscover the strengths of these medium-sized towns,” comments Caroline Cayeux, president of the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT) and mayor of Beauvais. However, this study is just the confirmation of a trend that was already evident before spring. We noticed that our medium-sized towns were starting to regain inhabitants. A city like Beauvais (56,000 inhabitants) gained 1,800 between 2014 and 2018. This is not without reason. “Indeed, these cities, like Marmande (Lot-et-Garonne), clearly have assets to highlight.
A sometimes surprising prize list
At the end of June, this pleasant sub-prefecture (18,000 inhabitants) organized the operation “The Val de Garonne is offered to Parisians”. “Come with your CV, your projects, your dreams,” suggested Daniel Benquet, then mayor and ambassador of a city located less than an hour from Bordeaux and less than three hours from Paris. Successful candidates were invited to visit the region, but above all to discover business establishment arrangements as well as job offers in the agri-food, aeronautics and mechanical markets. According to the General Directorate of Local Authorities, France has some 930 medium-sized towns. Last year, France Attractive selected around fifty, among the best known, to establish a list of cities where it is good to settle and work. La Rochelle appeared on the podium, followed by Pau and Angoulême. Far from certain received ideas, Calais was placed in good fourth position because of its geographical location – 30 minutes from Lille, 1 h 30 from Paris and 1 hour from London – but also the development of fiber and ultra third places. -connected.
The return of industries
“Everywhere in France, this revenge of medium-sized municipalities is also the result of programs such as Coeur de ville, dedicated to relaunching businesses and revitalizing city centers,” adds Caroline Cayeux. Cities like Beauvais, which recently hosted Agio and Massey-Ferguson factories, are benefiting from reindustrialisation movements. This is valid for Hauts-de-France, but there is a similar dynamism in municipalities like Bourg-en-Bresse, in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, or in Albi, in Occitanie. “
The click of deconfinement
These migrations were recently confirmed by the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion through feedback from notaries all over France, who are observing the arrival of new profiles from large cities. “For many, teleworking during confinement was a revelation,” concludes Caroline Cayeux. Many employees or entrepreneurs are now ready to take the plunge and choose these towns on a human scale and in the countryside, now equipped with all the necessary services… ”
> Entrepreneurs, the regions have assets to convince you
> Leaving Paris for the provinces: 5 golden rules before deciding
> Settle in the region: “Lots of possibilities for resuming activities”
> Post-confinement mobility: the revenge of medium-sized cities