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City centers are dying a slow death. That’s the message from hundreds of French mayors.

Shops, especially, are taking a hit, and in particular since 2010.
In cities of 25,000 people or more, 11.3% of store fronts are empty.
And in cities home to 40 to 50,000 residents, lights go off at 7pm.

In 40 years, France gained 16 million people, but lost 3 million stores.
The zone between the country’s south west and north east is strongly affected.
Those areas already suffer from a failing economy and low population counts.

Instead, residents are moving to the suburbs, where 2 thirds of French people now live.
Commercial centers are popping up in these areas, and they’re getting 22% bigger.

Local officials vow to bring stores back to the city center,
With promises of lower taxes and investment in public equipment.
The goal is to bring life back to once thriving urban areas, by targeting the consumption habits of their residents.

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