Mayor, Grande-Synthe and Vice-president, Urban community of Dunkerque
BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background:
Mayor of Grande-Synthe since 2001 (Socialist Party and European Ecology Party since 2015)
Vice-president of the Urban Community of Dunkerque since 2001, in charge of the ecological and social transformation since 2014.
Honorary Chairman of the Mayor’s Association “Cities and Suburbs of France”,
Administrator of the Circular Economy Institute,
President of the Polyclinic of Grande-Synthe,
President of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais hospital representatives network,
President of the Commission “Territory organization, tourism, environment, climate plan” of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (from 2010 to 2015) and Urban renewal representative (from 2004 to 2010).
ACHIEVEMENT / What is the project, initiative, startup, company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum about?
For 15 years, the municipality has been engaged in a sustainable development policy which base is the biodiversity conservation.
Since 2011, with reference to the “transition town” movement initiated in England by Rob Hopkins, the city of Grande-Synthe has engaged in an original process of transition. This engagement constituted a new step, following the signature of the Mayor’s Convention and the adoption of an Action Plan for Sustainable Energy in 2009.
LOCATION / In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?
Facing the North Sea, Grande-Synthe is a city of 21 000 inhabitants. Former market gardener village, it has become an industrial city in the sixties with the arrival of steel industry on water and its development was then really quick. In the seventies, the need of a more balanced development appeared. Since then, the problematics of living conditions, nature in the city and quality of life in general have been at the core concerns of the municipality policy.
IMPACT / What is the economic, social, political or environmental positive impact of the activity, project, initiative, startup, company?
In 2010, the city was awarded with the title of France’s first biodiversity capital for the model management of its green areas and natural spaces.
Through its “transition town” approach, the municipality wants to reinforce its territory resilience to fight climate disruption and ecological crisis and to reduce its dependence to fossil energies while contributing to the improvement of everyone’s well-being and the collective good. In this regard, Grande-Synthe wants to be a “full-scale laboratory” of the sustainable city and tomorrow’s lifestyles.
QUOTE / A saying, quote or maxim that tells something about you:
“Setting the example isn’t the best way to convince people, it is the only one.” Gandhi