Due to these factors, smaller cities in France like Lyon, Nantes, Montpellier and Toulouse benefit from population increase. While Bordeaux used to be known as ‘La Belle Endormie’, the sleeping beauty, it’s now a trendy, lively city. Parisians that move to Bordeaux are happy to settle for a lower income as they appreciate its milder climate, livability, and lower rents instead.
The fact that (young) urbanites are turning towards smaller cities in their quest for affordable housing and a healthier life is not unique to France. It’s a trend that is happening all around the world. Popular capital cities like London, New York City, Tokyo, and Amsterdam are under fire as young people prefer smaller cities or even small villages for a more authentic lifestyle. With affordability becoming a major issues in big metropolises, more people will look beyond their local Périphérique or M25 for alternatives.