Communauté urbaine

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Communauté urbaine (French for "urban community") is the second most integrated form of intercommunality in France, after the Metropolis (French: métropole). A communauté urbaine is composed of a city (commune) and its independent suburbs (independent communes).

The first communautés urbaines were created by the French Parliament on 31 December 1966. Originally there were only four, found in the metropolitan areas of Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon and Strasbourg. Later, others were created in other metropolitan areas. The purpose of the communautés urbaines was to achieve cooperation and joint administration between large cities and their independent suburbs. This step often followed failed attempts to merge the communes within a metropolitan area. The status of the communauté urbaine was modified by the Chevènement Law of 1999. Since the creation of the métropoles in 2011, several former communautés urbaines have become métropoles, for instance Nice, Strasbourg, Marseille, Nancy and Dijon.

Unlike the case in either a communauté d'agglomération or communauté de communes, communes cannot leave a communauté urbaine freely.

As of April 2018, there are 11 communautés urbaines in France (all in metropolitan France), with a combined population of 2.43 million inhabitants (as of 2015, in 2018 limits).[1][2] All of the urban areas in France with more than half a million inhabitants are a communauté urbaine or a métropole. Some communautés urbaines are relatively small; smaller than many communautés d'agglomération.

The communautés urbaines are each administrated by a council called a "conseil communautaire" (community council), composed of a proportional representation of members of municipal councils of member towns. The council is headed by an executive composed of a president and vice-presidents elected by the council. The president is in many cases the mayor of the main or most populous city. The mayors of the others cities are often also vice-presidents of the executive, the deputies-mayors are often members of the council, as are some members of the towns' councils.

List of communautés urbaines[edit]

Name Seat Number of communes Population (2015)[1]
CU Alençon Alençon 34 58,924
CU Angers Loire Métropole Angers 31 301,245
CU Arras Arras 46 109,781
CU Caen la Mer Caen 50 270,557
CU Creusot Montceau Le Creusot 34 97,828
CU Dunkerque Dunkirk 17 203,030
CU Grand Paris Seine et Oise Aubergenville 73 413,904
CU Le Mans Métropole Le Mans 19 210,635
CU Perpignan Méditerranée Métropole Perpignan 36 271,238
CU Grand Poitiers Poitiers 40 196,155
CU Grand Reims Reims 143 300,690


  1. ^ a b BANATIC, Périmètre des EPCI à fiscalité propre. Accessed 2018-04-25.
  2. ^ Direction générale des collectivités locales (DGCL), Ministry of the Interior. "Base des EPCI à fiscalité propre" (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.