Cultural heritage as a bedrock for participatory processes in Nantes

The birthplace of Jules Verne, Nantes (France) is a centre of imagination and creativity. Thanks to political commitment and significant financial investments, culture in all its forms is bubbling throughout the city.


Cultural heritage acts as a bedrock for participatory process, and it acts as a focal point for citizens to get more actively involved in the life of their districts. Involving citizens to discuss heritage leads to discussing the sense of place in different urban areas. Here are two local examples:

§  A political decision-making tool created by the city, the Nantes Heritage Council is an advisory body bringing together citizens. Several times a year, they meet to give opinions and advice on heritage matters. Its main missions are to formalise contributions whenever a project linking heritage and city building is the subject of a dialogue and to play a reflection role on upstream subjects, making it possible to provide historical depth or a general methodology for future projects.

§  Nantes Patrimonia is a digital platform where citizen access information on the everyday heritage of their city and their neighborhood. Citizens can bring input to the platform and become actors in the life of their city and their district through subjects that bring them together and that represent them. Nantes Patrimonia’s motto is ‘Nantes tells its story with you’. It provides digital tours, articles and interactive cartography, showcasing urban history, daily life, architecture, historical events, and the latest news on Nantes' heritage.

For more info on Nantes policies on culture and heritage, see this video.