Lonely Planet Writer

Lille unveiled as the Design Capital of the World for 2020

The French city of Lille, located in the Hauts-de-France region of the country, has just been unveiled as the Design Capital of the World for 2020. It is the first time that a city in France has been bestowed with the honour, narrowly seeing off Sydney, Australia for the prize.

Lille is set to host a series of design-centred events in 2020.

The World Design Capital committee awarded the honour to Lille after it was impressed with a project labelled ‘Eldorado: the greatest design experiment’, which looked to improve the life of its citizens by using design and city planning.The city will now host a series of design-centred events in 2020—though the exact programme is still to be revealed. Until then, travellers can take in a number of designs that impressed the judges—like the Gare of Lille-Saint-Sauveur cultural centre—as well as its rich choice of galleries.

People dancing in La Vieille Bourse, an oornate 17th-century Renaissance stock exchange in Lille. Image by Getty

Among the finest creative pit stops in the city is La Piscine Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, a world class art gallery located in a renovation swimming pool. Other design head turners include Palais des Beaux Arts, which holds artwork by greats such as Rubens and Manet; Musée d’Art Moderne, d’Art Contemporain et d’Art Brut – LaM, which has works by Modigliani and Picasso; and the Gare Saint-Sauveur cultural centre.

An installation entitled “La dentelle stellaire” (lace stellar) by French artist François Schuiten displayed as part of the “Lille fantastic” festival in 2013. Image by AFP/Getty Images

The judging committee, which included people who work in design, city planning, social development and economic progression, also said they improved of the cycle and tram networks planned for the city as well as proposed relocation for the European Medicine Agency.

Speaking about the news, Damien Castelain, the President of the European Metropole of Lille, said, ‘This title represents an incredible opportunity for Lille Metropole, Europe; the whole of France; and all those who are convinced of the added value design can bring.’