Loos-en-Gohelle : a laboratory of sustainable development

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Jean-François CARON

Mayor, Loos-en-Gohelle, Regional councillor, Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, northern France

Seminar Entrepreneurs, towns and regions | Wednesday December 2, 2009 - 8h45 - 10h45

Jean-François Caron was born in a mining area which was also a bastion of trade unionism. Although he inherited an awareness of social responsibility from his father, a self-management activist, he chose ecology - not the most obvious choice in his native region - as his platform. In view of the urgent global climate problem, he considered it necessary to devise a new model for social life and development, and to introduce new methods. In 2001, he succeeded his father as mayor of Loos-en-Gohelle, and launched a project for a sustainable town, an idea which he is pursuing enthusiastically. This project is focussed on three interlinked factors: the environment ; the economy linked to sustainable development ; and social cohesion. Because of the surprising results of this project, his town has become a reference point, and Caron was re-elected mayor with 82.1 % of the votes. He is now considering how to replicate these experiences elsewhere, and to benefit from the ideas and methods which have emerged from this work.

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This session was published in issue n°83 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Les énigmes du changement.

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