Revitalization Strategy #1: Giant Elephant Puppet

The French city of Nantes was for generations an industrial shipbuilding center, but that business gasped its last breath in 1987. City leaders began working then to reimagine the city, and part of that visions is, yes, a mechanical elephant.
October 4, 2011, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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The giant cyberpunk elephant is the product of Les Machines de 'Ile, a fantastical workshop and gallery space built into the old shipyards.

Christopher F. Schuetze writes that the workshop is currently "...building mechanical sea monsters for an oversize carousel that will evoke Jules Verne, one of the city's most famous sons.":

"Though the 285,000 visitors who came to see and ride the creature last year did not significantly increase the city's bottom line, they do indicate that the city's investments in art and public spaces are attracting interest."

Schuetze goes into detail about how Nantes has repositioned itself for the 20th century while creatively exploiting its past.

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Published on Monday, October 3, 2011 in The New York Times
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