Since its creation in 1969, the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque relies on the culture of cooperation existing between the different protagonists and the proud united population in the territory to promote well-being and solidarity hand in hand with industrial and sea port development.
By signing the Aalborg Sustainable European Cities Charter in 1996, the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque was launching a long term dynamic strategy. Increased financial means, resulting from economic growth, and its wider range of competencies helped focus this strategy on innovation. In the same year, the Metropolitan Council was awarded the first European prize for sustainable cities as a reward for the long term efforts that were undertaken: the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque was the first to set up a rubbish recycling scheme (1989) and an air pollution surveillance network (1976), and was also the first to agree to the installation of, what was at the time, the most powerful wind farm (1996).
The Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque is working on an Industrial Environmental Management Scheme (SEI), in agreement with local companies. An Industrial Pollution Watch Department (SPPPI) was created in 1990, and a pilot programme for industrial ecology was set up at the beginning of 2000. Social authorities and local representatives are also involved, through the cooperation of local citizens in town planning. The Sustainable Development Council, which includes the representatives of civil society, is responsible for organising debates on important issues for the territory.
Sustainable development is progressively becoming the guiding principle governing the interventions of the Metropolitan Council. The efforts of the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque are focused on turning the nearby sea into an asset: sea port and tourist activities, green energy and transport, intercultural events. The ambassador of sea port and sustainable industrial development, the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque also strongly relies on innovation, the quality of environment and the diversification of local businesses to keep afloat and follow the trend of the global economy. Its cross-border location helps fulfil this objective.
For the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque, opting for sustainable development consists in placing human beings and their environment at the heart of every project and, when making a decision, posing the question of its short, medium and long-term impact on the territory and, in a wider context, on the planet. By signing the Aalborg Commitments in 2009, the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque goes on working towards a future where quality of life, economic growth, and preserving the environment are key issues.
For more information visit the website of the Metropolitan Council of Dunkerque: www.dunkerquegrandlittoral.org
Mayor of Dunkerque, Michel Delebarre, speaking to the press at Dunkerque 2010