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Located on the river Loire, close to the Atlantic Coast, the Nantes conurbation with its 24 municipalities and 550,000 inhabitants is the largest urban centre in western France. Since 2000, it has seen the second highest rate of growth in France.

The conurbation covers an area of 52,000 hectares, half of which is unspoilt or agricultural land irrigated by 150 km of rivers.

The Nantes metropolitan area comprises the city of Nantes along with the conurbation of Saint-Nazaire (109,000 inhabitants) and the Guerande Peninsula (65,000 inhabitants). The Nantes–Saint-Nazaire metropolitan zone combines strong economic assets with a quality of life based on a balance between the natural and urban environment.

Nantes has a long-established integrated and sustainable transport policy with a focus on public transport and cycling and was the first French city to successfully reintroduce electric trams. Its ambitious transport policy has reduced air pollution, and a new climate plan aims to cut CO2 emissions by a quarter by 2020. Despite its demographic expansion, the city has witnessed a significant reduction in the use of private cars.

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