Lille Metropole named Design Capital of the World 2020

Lille Metropole has been named the Design Capital of the World for 2020, becoming the first ever French town to receive the title.

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Given every two years, the accolade comes from the World Design Organization, and aims to recognise towns and cities for their contribution - through design - to the economic, social, cultural and environment progress of their local area and wider country, as reported in news source France 3.

To be eligible for the title, towns must present a document showing all the relevant events to have taken place recently, as well as demonstrate all planned and future projects.

Lille was up against the Australian city of Sydney in the 2020 shortlist, but was ultimately rewarded for its “Design Eldorado” project, which includes a number of projects designed to improve the town’s urban design and infrastructure.

This notably included plans for the town’s future tram and cycle networks, as well as the European Medicine Agency (Agence Européenne du Médicament) project.

Existing works and buildings, such as the Gare Saint-Sauveur, were also seen as great examples of Lille art and design, while the presence of tech/design companies based in the town, such as 360 camera builders Giroptic, were also taken into account.

There will be a calendar of events planned in honour of the title, and although the exact programme is yet to be confirmed, it is likely that Lille will see numerous visits from design professionals.

It will also have the spotlight of worldwide publicity thrown on its best design projects, and have chance to deepen its connections with other towns. It is also hoped that the title will have a positive impact on tourism and investment levels.

Events will focus on the questions: “What is design?”, “How has design transformed our society and our country?”, and “How will good practice worldwide continue to inspire us?”.

“This title represents an incredible opportunity for Lille Metropole, Europe, the whole of France, and all those who are convinced of the added value design can bring,” said Damien Castelain, president of the European Metropole of Lille (La Métropole Européenne de Lille).

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