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ESPON / CAEE - Manchester Seminar 2/3 December 2010. Lyon Case Study Gilles Pinson, Lise Maitrallet, Christelle Morel-Journel Sciences-Po Lyon – Université Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne Triangle (UMR 5206) – EVS (UMR 5600). 1. Lyon: situation and main features. Population: Lyon: 0.48 M

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ESPON / CAEE - Manchester Seminar

2/3 December 2010

Lyon Case Study

Gilles Pinson, Lise Maitrallet, Christelle Morel-Journel

Sciences-Po Lyon – Université Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne

Triangle (UMR 5206) – EVS (UMR 5600)


1 lyon situation and main features
1. Lyon: situation and main features

  • Population:

    • Lyon: 0.48 M

    • Grand Lyon: 1.4 M

    • Aire urbaine de Lyon: 1.75 M

    • Région urbaine de Lyon: 2.9 M

  • 2nd largest French urban region; 2nd economic pole

  • Region Rhône-Alpes (5.46 M): 1st French industrial region


2. Lyon: economic, social and spatial change

  • Sprawl, reurbanisation and polarisation (Greater Lyon)

    • Population evolution from 1975 to 2006 (INSEE)


2. Lyon: economic, social and spatial change

  • Economic geography (Greater Lyon):

    • Global raise in jobs number (metropolitanisation)

    • Decentralisation of jobs and industries towards East

    • Core cities (Lyon, Villeurbanne) and eastern working and middle classes communes are were jobs are located


2. Lyon: economic, social and spatial change

  • Economic geography (Greater Lyon):

    • Decrease of industrial jobs (from 43% of workforce in 1975 to 19% in 2006)

    • A transfer of industries eastbound

    • A raise of the share of services jobs (from 56% in 1975 to 81 % in 2006)

    • A development of services jobs westbound


2. Lyon: economic, social and spatial change

  • The Greater Lyon economic structure today: a strong “provincial” city-region

    • Banal services: a poor share of “emplois métropolitains supérieurs” (best qualified and paid jobs)

      • 76 000 in Lyons / 815 000 in Paris ; a share of 10.6% in 1999 (lower than in Toulouse, Grenoble or Montpellier) ; in progress

      • Among the 15 first employers: hospitals, local authorities, postal services, public transports, utilities, welfare institutions, supermarkets

    • Unbalanced industrial structures

      • A few “engines” (usually linked with external capital)

      • A dominance of very small subcontractors SMEs

      • The lack of big territorialized SMEs


2. Lyon: economic, social and spatial change

  • The Greater Lyon economic structure today: a strong “provincial” city-region

    • Diversity of the productive base but several specializations closely linked to an history of precocious industrialization

      • Trucks manufacturing (Renault Trucks, IVECO, Irisbus), heritage of Berliet

      • Chemicals (Rhodia, Arkema, Ciba, Bluestar Silicones, Total), heritage of textile industry (silkmaking)

      • Biotechnologies (Aventis Pasteur, BioMérieux, Mérial), heritage of the Mérieux empire (a collaborator of Pasteur) (industrial biology, public health, vaccines)


2. Lyon: economic, social and spatial change

  • How have agglomeration economies shaped the geography of economic activity ?

    • Agglomeration or cluster trends are not a brand new phenomenon

      • Current clusters were already existing 50 years ago

    • For each key sectors, there are several location and not single agglomeration focus

    • Agglomeration logics are determined by dominant actors structuring their own subcontractors networks

      • Rather than by the interactions between firms of the same level (SMEs, « milieux innovateurs », technopolitan systems)

Location of Biotechnologies firms


3. Public policies and governance framework

  • A supportive national context

    • Early policies in favour of “second cities” (DATAR policies of “métropoles d’équilibre”)

    • Key decisions made my the central State in terms of infrastructures (TGV, highways, etc.)

    • Decentralisation

    • Constitutive policies:

      • State/Regions Planning Contracts

      • Promotion of Inter-municipal cooperation

        • Authoritative creation of Communautés Urbaines in the late 1960’s

        • A new wave of inter-municipal integration in the early 2000’s

    • Recently, Cluster policy (Pôles de compétitivité)

      • 5 poles in Lyon, 2 in Saint-Etienne


3. Public policies and governance framework

  • A strong technical capacity at city regional-level

    • The Greater Lyon (inter-municipal cooperation organisation):

      • High degree of fiscal autonomy

      • Wide range of functions operated: from planning and visioning to policies and services delivering

      • Strong technical resources

      • The recent takeover of economic development

    • Satellites and partners: Planning Agency, Chamber of Commerce, ADERLY, RUL

    • A strong political leadership (the mayor of Lyon is the president of the Greater Lyon)


3. Public policies and governance framework

  • Multi-level governance, institutional thickness and the capacity to build up narratives

    • The French “fusion model” of policymaking

      • Strong State field services

      • Three (even four) tiers system: commune, département, region (+inter-municipal cooperation devices)

      • Strong officials (multiple office holding)

      • Coproduction is the norm (contract, co-financing, etc.)

    • The strength of redundancy

      • Overlap of functions

      • Multiple scale of data gathering, planning, visioning and mobilising

    • Both generate competition and conflicts but also knowledge and institutional thickness


4. Key questions

  • “Truly bounded” vs. “coalitions of the willing”

    • The Lyons case tends to prove the efficiency of the latter

    • But

      • Raises the problem of accountability

      • Is threatened by a government project to create a new “Métropole” status

  • Power and resources of metro arrangements

    • A central political and technical actor (Grand Lyon)

    • A strong degree of fiscal autonomy ; resources mainly obtained from business taxes

    • But

      • Tax reforms that tend to replace local taxes revenues by State transfers (and to cut the link between local authorities and economic development)


4. Key questions

  • The role of national government ?

    • Forced modernisation and then constitutive policies

    • Strong State field services and involvement of the “local State” in local projects

    • But :

      • A current fascination for the British “hands off model” and New Public management recipes


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