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last updated: October 5, 2005


Lyon is the second city of France, its urban area having 1,598,000 inhabitants. It is an old historical city (the historical centre is UNESCO world heritage). This historical centre, not to be confused with the economic centre, is very different from the suburbs, developed around it. Moreover, there are big differences between west and east.

The estates built in the 1960s are especially in the eastern part of the urban area, in the plain of the Rhône River. Socio-economic problems are concentrated here, rooted in a special urbanism context which is now being treated with renewal operations decided by the government in the frame of the "politique de la ville" (urban policy).