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.

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.

Full Story: A Focus on Attracting Residents


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.