Strasbourg,France The Story of Urban Renewal and Community Transformation


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Urban Development

Contributions and Roles of Member Cities in the Eurocities Network: The Case of Strasbourg, France

Innovation and Sustainability

Strasbourg is committed to sustainability and innovation, actively working towards reducing CO2 emissions and promoting green technology. The city has set ambitious goals to meet the European Union’s objectives for climate neutrality by 2050. Efforts are channeled into various initiatives designed to create a cleaner and more sustainable urban environment.

Key Initiatives in Sustainability

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions through enhanced public transport options and promotion of cycling.
  • Investment in renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind energy installations.
  • Implementation of green building standards across new construction projects.

Smart City Initiatives

Strasbourg leverages advanced technology to improve urban life, focusing on enhancing public services, optimizing resource management, and fostering a smarter, more connected cityscape. The city’s emphasis on technological solutions supports a cleaner, safer, and more efficient environment for its residents.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Automated waste management systems improving cleanliness and efficiency.
  • Intelligent transportation systems reducing traffic congestion and enhancing mobility.
  • Enhanced healthcare services through telemedicine and smart health monitoring.

Cultural and Social Projects

In Strasbourg, cultural and social engagement is a priority, with a range of projects designed to foster inclusivity and support for vulnerable groups. The city’s initiatives aim to celebrate its rich cultural heritage while promoting social cohesion and well-being among its residents.

Official City Website:

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Community arts programs offering workshops and exhibitions to engage local artists.
  • Support networks for migrants and refugees, including language classes and job placement services.
  • Cultural festivals celebrating Strasbourg’s diverse heritage and fostering community spirit.

Urban Planning and Development

Strasbourg undertakes significant urban development projects focusing on enhancing livability and addressing climate change. These projects are integral in transforming the city into a sustainable, modern urban environment.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Revitalization of downtown areas to create pedestrian-friendly zones.
  • Development of eco-districts featuring energy-efficient housing and green spaces.
  • Upgrading existing infrastructure to withstand future climate impacts.

Youth and Education

Strasbourg places a strong emphasis on creating vibrant environments for students and young professionals, ensuring they have access to quality education and opportunities for personal and professional development.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Scholarship programs and educational partnerships with local universities.
  • Internship and apprenticeship opportunities in various sectors.
  • Youth centers offering cultural, educational, and recreational activities.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

Strasbourg, as a member of the Eurocities network, benefits immensely from collaborative efforts with other European cities. Participation in the network enables the city to:

  • Share best practices and innovative solutions to common urban challenges.
  • Access to funding and support for large-scale urban projects.
  • Enhance its influence on European urban policy through collective advocacy.
  • Strengthen economic ties and cultural exchanges with fellow European cities.

City Name: Strasbourg


Strasbourg is located in the historical region of Alsace in northeastern France. It sits along the border with Germany, at the confluence of the River Ill and the Rhine. The city is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department and the Grand Est region.


As of the latest data, Strasbourg has a population of approximately 280,000 residents. The wider metropolitan area, which includes surrounding suburbs and the neighboring German city of Kehl, has a population of around 500,000. The city is known for its diverse demographic composition, with a mixture of French, German, and other European cultural influences.

Economic Overview

Strasbourg’s economy is dynamic and diverse, driven primarily by the following key industries:

  • Finance and Banking: Home to several European institutions, including the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Technology and Innovation: The city has a burgeoning tech scene, with numerous startups and research institutions.
  • Tourism: The picturesque old town, known as “La Petite France,” and the Strasbourg Cathedral attract millions of visitors annually.
  • Manufacturing and Engineering: The automotive and machinery sectors are significant contributors to the local economy.

Strasbourg’s GDP is significant, benefiting from its advantageous position within the European Union and its diverse economic base.

Historical Significance

Strasbourg boasts a rich and tumultuous history, having changed hands between France and Germany several times. Some key historical periods and events include:

  • Roman Era: Originally founded by the Romans as Argentoratum in 12 BC.
  • Middle Ages: Became a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century.
  • Franco-German Wars: The city was annexed by Germany in 1871 and returned to France after World War I in 1919.
  • World War II: Occupied by Nazi Germany and then liberated in 1944.
  • Modern Era: Chosen as the seat of various European institutions, emphasizing its role in fostering European unity.

Cultural Attractions

Strasbourg is renowned for its rich cultural scene, offering a plethora of institutions and events:

  • Strasbourg Cathedral: A stunning example of Gothic architecture, featuring a famous astronomical clock.
  • La Petite France: A charming old quarter known for its half-timbered houses and canals.
  • European Institutions: Tours are available at the European Parliament and Council of Europe buildings.
  • Christmas Market: One of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe, known as Christkindelsmärik.
  • Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: Offers a vast collection of modern artworks.

Education System

Strasbourg boasts a comprehensive education system, catering to all levels:

Primary and Secondary Education

Primary and secondary schools in Strasbourg are operated by both public and private entities. The city offers bilingual French-German education at many institutions.

Higher Education

The University of Strasbourg, one of the largest in France, is a prominent institution offering a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. The city is also home to several specialized institutions, including the National School of Administration (ENA) and the International Space University (ISU).

Transportation Infrastructure

Strasbourg features a well-developed transportation network:

  • Public Transit: An extensive tram and bus network operated by CTS (Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois) makes local travel convenient.
  • Airports: Strasbourg Airport offers domestic and international flights. The city is also accessible via the nearby Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport in Germany.
  • Rail Connections: High-speed TGV trains provide links to major cities including Paris, Frankfurt, and Basel.
  • Road Network: Well-connected highways facilitate travel to other regions in France and neighboring Germany.

Urban Development Projects

Strasbourg is undertaking several significant urban development projects to enhance sustainability and quality of life:

  • Wacken-Europe District: A major business district development aiming to create a new hub for European institutions and multinational companies.
  • Ecoquartier Danube: A sustainable neighborhood project incorporating green building practices, renewable energy, and ample public spaces.
  • Tram Network Expansion: Ongoing efforts to extend the tram lines to improve urban mobility and reduce traffic congestion.

Environmental Initiatives

Strasbourg is committed to environmental sustainability through various initiatives:

  • Green Spaces: The city has developed numerous parks and gardens, making up a significant portion of urban space.
  • Bicycle Infrastructure: Extensive bike lanes and bike-sharing programs encourage eco-friendly transportation.
  • Renewable Energy: Investments in solar and wind energy projects aim to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
  • Zero Waste Initiative: Programs aimed at reducing waste generation, increasing recycling, and promoting the circular economy.

Quality of Living

Strasbourg offers a high quality of living, attributed to several factors:

  • Healthcare: Advanced medical facilities and services, including the University Hospital of Strasbourg, ensure comprehensive healthcare coverage.
  • Safety: The city is known for its low crime rates and efficient public safety services.
  • Amenities: A wide range of amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, cultural venues, and recreational areas cater to all lifestyle needs.

Quality of Life Indexes

Strasbourg scores highly on various quality of life indexes:

  • Livability Rankings: Often ranks among the top cities in France for quality of life,

    Mayor Profile: Jeanne Barseghian

    Current Position

    Mayor of Strasbourg, France

    Political Affiliation

    Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV)


    • Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, Sciences Po Paris
    • Law Degree, University of Strasbourg

    Professional Background

    Prior to becoming mayor, Jeanne Barseghian held various positions within local government that focused on environmental and urban planning issues. She served on the Strasbourg City Council and the Eurometropolis Council, where she concentrated on policies aimed at improving ecological sustainability and urban mobility. In the private sector, Jeanne worked as an urban planning consultant, providing strategic advice to municipalities on sustainable development.

    Achievements as Mayor

    • Sustainability Initiatives: Jeanne has spearheaded numerous projects aimed at reducing the city’s carbon footprint, including expanding bike lanes, increasing renewable energy usage, and investing in public transportation.
    • Urban Development: Initiated the “Strasbourg Green Belt” project to create more green spaces within the city, improve urban biodiversity, and provide residents with more recreational areas.
    • Technological Advancements: Launched several smart city projects, such as city-wide Wi-Fi, digital kiosks for public services, and the introduction of smart traffic management systems to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

    Vision for the Future

    Jeanne Barseghian envisions Strasbourg as a leading example of a smart, sustainable city. Her goals include:

    • Smart City Initiatives: Further integrate technology into urban management to enhance the quality of life for residents and streamline city operations. Plans to implement a city-wide IoT network for better infrastructure monitoring and maintenance.
    • Environmental Sustainability: Continue her commitment to making Strasbourg carbon-neutral by 2050, with intermediate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing green energy consumption.
    • Community Engagement: Foster a more inclusive community by encouraging citizen participation in city planning through public consultations and digital platforms. Focus on improving education and employment opportunities, particularly within underrepresented communities.

    Personal Life

    Jeanne Barseghian is an avid cyclist and enjoys spending her weekends exploring Strasbourg’s extensive bike trail network. She is also passionate about gardening and often participates in community garden projects. Jeanne is committed to promoting environmental awareness and frequently volunteers with local environmental NGOs and community groups.

    Awards and Honors

    • Green Leadership Award: Recognized by the European Green Capital Network for her contributions to urban sustainability.
    • Public Service Award: Received the French National Order of Merit for her exemplary public service and leadership in environmental policy.

    Strasbourg: Quality of Life and Cost of Living

    Quality of Life


    Strasbourg boasts a safety index of 64.14, indicative of a relatively secure environment for its residents. This index reflects a low rate of crime, making it a comfortable city for both local inhabitants and visitors.


    Healthcare in Strasbourg is highly rated, with a quality index of 79.08. The city offers top-notch medical services, including well-equipped hospitals and a network of specialized healthcare providers. Residents benefit from easy access to medical facilities and highly qualified healthcare professionals.


    Strasbourg maintains a moderate pollution index of 41.30, signifying commendable efforts in environmental sustainability. The city is known for its clean streets, green spaces, and rigorous waste management practices.


    The city’s transportation system is efficient and well-structured, earning a transport index of 37.02. Strasbourg is served by a comprehensive public transport network, including an extensive tram system that makes commuting both convenient and affordable for residents.


    Strasbourg is home to several reputable educational institutions, most notably the University of Strasbourg, which is recognized for its high academic standards and research excellence. The city offers quality education options from primary to tertiary levels, attracting students from around the globe.

    Cost of Living


    The cost of housing in Strasbourg is relatively high. The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately €680.17, reflecting the city’s attractiveness and demand for housing in central areas.

    Groceries and Dining

    Monthly grocery costs for a single person in Strasbourg average around €280. Dining out at an inexpensive restaurant typically costs about €15, making casual dining accessible.


    Utilities for an 85m2 apartment, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, average €139.97 per month. This amount ensures that residents have reliable access to essential services.


    A monthly public transport pass in Strasbourg costs about €50. The city’s transport system is reliable and widely used, making it a practical option for daily commuting.


    Leisure activities in Strasbourg are reasonably priced. A monthly membership at a fitness club costs around €36.19, while a cinema ticket is approximately €9.50, offering affordable options for physical activity and entertainment.

    Role in the Eurocities Network

    Strasbourg plays a pivotal role within the Eurocities network, representing a balanced blend of high living standards and dynamic cultural and commercial activities. As a significant urban center in the European region, Strasbourg not only provides its residents with an excellent quality of life but also exemplifies regional cooperation and development.

    Overall, Strasbourg offers a compelling combination of safety, health, cleanliness, efficient transportation, and quality education, making it a desirable place to live. However, prospective residents should consider the relatively high cost of living. Information sourced from Numbeo, a recognized provider of cost of living data, highlights these key aspects that define life in Strasbourg.

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