Nantes is situated on the Loire river 50km from the Atlantic coast. The city was the capital of Brittany before its union with France in 1532. Historically, the city is an economic center. It was one of the largest French ports during the XVIIIe century, then a dynamic industrial center during the XIXe century.
Currently the population is about 303.000 inhabitants, the double by considering the metropolitan area. It is expanding of more than 6% between 2010 and 2015. The economy is nowadays service-oriented. Nantes invests on its quality of life to attract firms and tourist, by developing its cultural life and valorising its natural environment.
The city can build on a natural site characherised by a dense network of streams and rivers. The municipality also implements and experiences measures in favour of sustainable development including NBS experiences. This innovative work was rewarded in 2013 with the European Green Capital prize.
The city is currently involved in several urban transformations. The iconic one regards areas freed by deindustrialisation in the heart of the city, on the island of Nantes. With the financial support of the state, Nantes is also engaged in an ambitious urban renewal programme in four social housing neighbourhoods.