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Euralens, a local initiative to redevelop Pas-de-Calais mining basin? 

Born in the Pas-de-Calais former mining basin, a territory that inspires pride and shame, Euralens defines itself as a “forum of actors”. It covers a territory of 650,000 inhabitants situated in the north of France between Lille and Paris. In terms of form, it is an association that includes politicians and public officers of institutions, but also public agencies, members of civil society and representatives from the business sector. The main originality of Euralens is indeed its very nature: not being an institution per se, it has no direct decision-making powers. Nevertheless, because it gathers together all the main public and private actors in the territory, it constitutes itself as a crucial governance tool, increasingly attracting local, national and international attention. Created in 2009, its objective was (and still is) to use the implementation of the satellite of the Louvre in Lens as a catalyst for territorial development. To do so, Euralens presents itself as an “incubator for local projects” and a “metropolisation laboratory”. If spatial justice or combating inequalities are not mentioned as such as an objective of Euralens, local development is its main target. The two main questions in relation to RELOCAL are directly related to the two objectives that Euralens has set itself:

1) Its aspiration to catalyse inclusive, bottom-up local development: how does it work? What does it produce? What are the results in terms of distributive justice?

2) Its ongoing innovative way of creating a flexible form of a locally-driven government of the territory: including whom? To do what? What are the results in terms of procedural justice?

For more information on this Case Study, please contact: Dr. Cyril Blondel, University of Luxembourg, 

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