Lille Metropole (France)

Lille Metropole is a French intercommunity located in the Hauts-de-France region. It is the fourth largest French agglomeration and  brings together 95 municipalities or 1.2 million inhabitants on both urban and rural territory of almost 680 km². With its 84 km of shared border with Belgium, Lille Metropole has developed privileged relations with neighbouring Belgian inter municipalities, resulting in the creation of the first European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation in 2008: the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai.

Lille Metropole is located in the heart of North-West Europe and is connected to the major European capitals. As a pivotal territory between Anglo-Saxon and Latin Europe, Lille Metropole has always pursued major mobility policies, which has enabled the metropolitan area to be located at 1 hour by train from Paris, 80 minutes from London and 35 minutes from Brussels. The two main railway stations welcome nearly 30 million passengers every year and its airport more than 2.2 million passengers.

In February 2021, the Metropolitan Council adopted its second Air Energy Territorial Climate Plan 2021-2026, which provides a concrete response to the climate emergency and various environmental issues. A threefold ambition thus guides Lille Metropole climate policy: accelerate the energy transition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 (1), build a metropolis that is resilient to the effects of climate change (2) and that can offer everyone the benefit of the ecological transition (3). In this context, Lille Metropole Climate Plan sets out quantified targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and air pollutants. The Climate Plan also builds on a comprehensive action programme based on Lille Metropole competences (mobility, urban development, housing, economic development, energy management, water, waste, air quality) in order to achieve the final objective: to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

In terms of climate governance, in 2021 Lille Metropole set up a Metropolitan High Council for Climate composed of 4 colleges, municipalities, socio-economic actors, experts / scientists and citizens to support the territory in the steering and monitoring of both Climate Plan strategy and action plan.

Sustainability focus: Lille Metropole heat highway

The Lille heat highway entered into service between July 2020 and September 2021, to reuse the unused energy generated by waste incineration. The total investment amounts to EUR 70 million, and with the heat highway, Lille Metropole is taking concrete action to deal with rising energy prices and to fight against global warming. The Heat Highway consists of 20 km of pipelines that connects the Halluin Waste Recovery Centre to the existing heat networks of Lille and Roubaix. The heat highway recovers 230 GWh of heat per year from this waste incineration, the equivalent of heating 24,000 homes! Recovering this heat, which otherwise would have been wasted, allows to reduce heat production from fossil gas. In addition, the heat highway has made it possible to close the Mont de Terre coal-fired power plant in January 2021, with benefits for the climate and for the air quality.

The need to knows

  • Climate Plan goals:

    • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 % between 1990 and 2030, then to reach carbon neutrality by 2050
    • divide the carbon footprint of the territory by 6 between 1990 and 2050
    • reduce energy consumption by 16% in 2030 and 39% in 2050 (relative to 2016)
    • multiply local renewable energy production by 2,3 between 2016 and 2030

  • Lille Metropole is the most agricultural metropolis of France, with nearby 45% of the territory cultivated and 750 farming activities
  • Free public transport for metropolitan residents under 18 years old
  • The development of V'Lille stations, a self-service bicycle system, which includes 2600 self-service bikes in 260 docking stations. Forty new stations are expected in 2023


  • Signatory to the Circular Cities Declaration
  • Signatory to the Green Cities Accord
  • Signatory to the Covenant of Mayors

What the city has to say

Lille Metropole has a legacy of being at the forefront of mobility. Our metropolis inaugurated the world's first automatic metro in 1983, and since then our strong policies have enabled us to become a territory easily reachable from Paris, London and Brussels.  I have committed Lille Metropole to the most ambitious masterplans (SDIT) for transport infrastructure in its history, to improve public transport and soft mobility.

In addition to 50 kilometres of new tramway lines, 25 kilometres of high service buses and 450 kilometres of cycle paths, we are breaking ground with the ecobonus! This unique project shall monetize sustainable transport behavior by financially rewarding car journeys avoided (€2 per journey up to a maximum of €80/month). This is a first in France and will launch in September 2023!

Furthermore, since 2022 in Lille Metropole public transport is free for all metropolitans younger than 18. Over 300,000 youths benefit from this measure adopted on June 28th 2021.

- Damien Castelain, Président of Lille Métropole 

ICLEI and Lille Metropole

Lille Metropole is a longstanding ICLEI Member. More recently, Lille Metropole and ICLEI have developed close relations in the framework of the Green City Accord and the Circular Cities Declaration, but also in a broader way on various environment, food, agriculture and biodiversity topics. In early 2023, Lille Metropole met with ICLEI's Food and Biodiversity Teams to discuss its strategy and interlinkages between European and metropolitan challenges.