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  • Has the metropolitan life gone out of style in France?
  • Has the metropolitan life gone out of style in France?
    Matthew Kenwright, Creative Commons (2009) ©
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What’s driving an urban exodus in France?

Major cities in France have long attracted workers, changing industries from agriculture to services and reshaping the country in turn. Yet the rural exodus has halted, with more people now moving to the country. Why are people leaving the city? And what’s to become of the French city-dweller?

Location France

Scope
Paris, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux – as elsewhere in the developed world, major cities in France have attracted an ever-increasing number of workers, transforming industries from agriculture to services and reshaping the country over decades. Yet while the nation once saw a rural exodus, the opposite is now true. As people leave big cities behind, what are they hoping to find?

France’s ongoing agricultural crisis and the COP21 climate conference in Paris have contributed to reviving the country’s old ecological conscience. The so-called ‘neo-rurals’ want it all, reshaping countryside villages as they migrate, bringing with them the experience ...

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