Bourges, territory of the future or how a city of less than 80,000 inhabitants can, thanks to culture, inspire European and French medium-sized cities on the major issues that cross our society

A strong theme emerging from the participatory workshops is its size, associated with its position surrounded by nature. Bourges is a city of 66,000 inhabitants in the smallest of the French regions and strongly anchored in rurality, in carbon balance. In the post-covid era, Bourges offers a differentiated relationship to life, culture and time.

Cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants represent the largest proportion of inhabitants and citizens in France and in the Union (more than 150 million inhabitants). They have often been neglected and weakened by national and European planning and investments which have focused on metropolitan areas, large and medium-sized towns and their peripheries. These are local areas where living together, relationships with others, and hospitality are present.

The size of Bourges and its location allow for short decision-making processes and more flexible governance. This agility will allow the city to develop prototyping and become a laboratory of ideas and innovations able to offer solutions for culture in the Union of the 21st century to a particularly dense network of cities of its size and in a situation of comparable periphery across the continent. The challenge is to develop a project that can be modeled for a majority of European cities in the Union.

As Bourges may have been a modeler in France and in Europe at the time of the creation of the Maison de la Culture by André Malraux, or at the time of the creation of Printemps de Bourges.