Nantes is France’s second bike-friendly municipality. With the 4th largest demographic growth among French cities (+6.4% since 2009), Nantes metropolitan area reached 619,240 inhabitants in 2014, thus establishing itself as a dynamic area with strong growth potential.
2020, June 15th
Nantes demographic and economic dynamism is challenging in terms of travel. This issue must continually be addressed in order to uphold the quality of life of inhabitants.
For over a decade, the municipality has implemented an ambitious plan to encourage alternatives to car travel. Actions have been undertaken to promote a better cohabitation between transport modes in order to encourage behavioural change towards active mobility. Between 2010 and 2015, quiet streets increased by 160%, allowing for a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians thanks to speed limits for motorised vehicles. Inhabitants can further enjoy the city centre thanks to the pedestrian zone implemented.
Since 2010, the length of bicycle lanes has increased by about 40%, reaching 545 kilometres today. The city also develops amenities to park bicycles, with around 2 500 parking spaces (including secured parking boxes). The city has offered self-service bikes since 2008, with over 600 bikes available to more than 10 000 subscribers. Every year, the Bike feast is organised to promote the use of bikes in and around the city.
For the future, Nantes’ philosophy is to continue to promote the quality of public spaces and urban environments and to encourage active mobility (while moderating the room allocated to cars and speed limits), for the wellbeing of its inhabitants. In its Plan for urban mobility, the city strives towards an increase of bike and pedestrian trips to respectively reach 12% and 30% of the modal share by 2030 (today 3% and 26%).
With more than 60,000 sport memberships, Nantes actively promotes sport for all. It has a proactive sports policy whose ambition is to enable all of Nantes’ residents to have access to sport and to practice it in good conditions. The city of Nantes also subsidises 384 sports associations and develops quality sports facilities through all its districts.
Nantes offers a lot of possibilities to practice outdoor sport. Two bike itineraries cross the city: Vélodyssée (EuroVélo 1) and Loire à Vélo (EuroVélo 6), which are protected routes developed on the riverbanks of the Loire.
In Nantes, inhabitants can do sport in the streets such as gym, street golf, or trekking roller, which are organized every Thursday for all. Street sports in Nantes are a combination of free, shared and adapted street facilities.
The Municipality school of sport is a programme providing educational activities dedicated to children and teenagers aged 6 to 17 years old. Implemented during school time, but also after school and during holidays, these initiatives are primarily aimed at young people in priority neighbourhoods who do not practice sport, or practice very little. The program is supervised by 86 educators.
The Mobilus program sought to develop active citizenship in children aged 8 to 10 years old, with a better knowledge of transport modes, their environmental and health impacts, and a reflection on social relations related to transport modes. Between 2012 and 2015, Mobilus was implemented throughout 60 classes across the municipality.
In 2019, the municipality experimented a “bike for students pack”, to encourage students to use bicycles instead of public transportation during peak times.
Since 2001, Nantes assists public and private employers who are committed to controlling motorized travel of their employees, signing “Companies mobility plans”. It helps companies with information on multimodal possibilities, especially promoting bike trips and try to change mobility behaviours thanks to communication and useful tools (apps, maps).