In Lyon, Nice and Lille… Here are the most “dynamic” neighborhoods in France

The classification of the most dynamic areas of major cities was carried out by the company Mytraffic. Lyon reach the third tier of the podium behind Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Public transport, local stores and exchanges with the municipality, among others Based on these criteria, startup Mytraffic has created its 2022 list of the most dynamic regions.

In partnership with the Institut des Hautes Etudes des Métropoles, this pedestrian flow analysis firm has measured monthly attendance in more than 80 districts in 21 French cities, excluding Paris. Based on data recorded between January and December 2021, the company was able to determine its ranking for the first time.

Ranking of the most dynamic urban areas.
Ranking of the most dynamic urban areas. © Mytraffic screenshot

Bordeaux and Toulouse, the winning duo

St. Catherine’s Street in Bordeaux won the Gold Medal for Dynamic Zones. With 230 stores, the sector is particularly well known for its businesses, both large brands and independent companies. Variety praised by MyTraffic rating.

The company also highlights a system that Purdue traders have put in place to counter the competition from e-commerce: digital homes, to help independent traders have a more online presence.

The variety of shops is also what earned it the second place in Toulouse and rue Alsace-Lorraine. The arrangement also pays tribute to the efforts made on the sector’s mobility network: several bus lines and the Capitol metro station serve the street.

Leon on the podium

To achieve its ranking, Mytraffic focused on five criteria, the first of which is the central position of pedestrians in the city centers studied. “Almost all of the winning neighborhoods are, at least in part, car-free,” the startup says.

Other criteria taken into consideration are transportation policies, regional marketing, dialogue between the various players in the region, and the fact of attracting big brands that “train small independent traders for their success”.

Lyon scores on all of these criteria, with the Cordilleras taking third place on the podium, behind Bordeaux and Toulouse. The reason for this success: its central location on the peninsula, halfway between the Town Hall on the Place des Terreaux, and the famous Place Bellecour. In 2021, the region recorded 2.5 million visits per month.

Whether in terms of shops, pedestrians or even access by public transport, Lyon will be a role model according to the winners.

Asked by Mytraffic as part of the arrangement, Environmental Mayor Gregory Ducet emphasized the challenges ahead, particularly greening public spaces to combat heat islands. But also the question of rents, which remain very expensive on the Lyon peninsula.

“The housing policy we are implementing responds to these issues, by controlling rents or even combating the misuse of furnished tourism platforms that are contributing to the snatching of entire residences from the classic housing stock,” Grégory Doucet outlines to startups.

Latifah and Lil, an update on navigation

Nice follows Lyon closely and ranks fourth on rue Jean Medecin, the city’s shopping street. In addition to events that aim to attract an audience such as the Pan Bagnat Championships, clearance sale or waiter races.

The city has notably established a paging car park system, which allows parking outside the city center for a €1 tram ticket to get to the shops. The three tram lines also allow access to the area and limit vehicular traffic. “Before the trams were delivered, more than 23,000 vehicles were using rue Jean Medicine every day,” said Christan Estrosi, mayor of Nice.

On the issue of mobility, Lille is not left out and ranks fifth in the Grand’Place-Rihour, a pedestrian area where there are many shops and restaurants. The area is easily accessible by car, with a metro station at Place Rihour, three underground car parks in this strip, and two Lille train stations located within a 5-minute walk.

Strasbourg and Nantes are ranked sixth and seventh. Two cities whose urban organization is welcomed by ranking. The district of Austerlitz in Strasbourg is particularly honored for “the relocation of the bus station, the elimination of cars on the docks of the boatmen, and the pacification of the Place d’Austerlitz by pedestrians and greening”.

Plants are also a strong point in the Le Bouffay district of Nantes, as “there are many squares and green spaces that allow families to walk there”.

Marseille and Toulon, a good point for renovations

With 2.8 million walkways per month in 2021, rue Saint-Ferréol, the longest pedestrian route in Marseille, ranks eighth. What makes this area particularly dynamic, according to the arrangement, is above all the policy of rehabilitation of the city center since 2014, with the renovation of the facades and the creation of several pedestrian entrances.

Another point in favor of Marseille: the diversity of its commercial offer, whether in terms of restaurants, local shops or big brands.

Same note for Toulon, whose old position is number nine on the list. With 500 restored facades and nearly hundreds of renovated streets and squares in the Lower Town, the area has made it possible to attract young entrepreneurs and thus breathe new life into the city’s dynamism.

Grenoble comes in tenth place in the ranking. Where other cities have emphasized the development of soft mobility, Grenoble has made a slightly different bet by restricting access to its superbike hub, de-cluttering public spaces and making them pedestrian-only.

This dynamic neighborhood list was above all intended to show that neighborhoods have managed to renew themselves despite two years of a health crisis and the rise of e-commerce, hurting local businesses. The startup specifies that “despite the successive crises, the most dynamic regions of French capitals are very attractive: visitors are there”.

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