" A harbor looks at the sea, inevitably.

It waits for bows, welcome you with open hearts,

... protect you. "

Bernard Giraudeau

Translated by Anaïs Michaud

La Rochelle, reflected by its old port, its maritime history, and its multicultural population, is open to the world. This student city has a great community network and a unique cultural heritage that is known and reputed in the Charente-Maritime department, Poitou-Charente region, at the national and international level (the visiting figures confirm this image).

City of La Rochelle video ‎‎‎‎‎‎(2016)

Vidéo 2016 Ville de La Rochelle.mp4

This port city, offers a living environment very appreciated by the city dwellers and the inhabitants from the urban area of La Rochelle. The great diversity of the annual program of festive cultural events, sporting events and artistic exhibitions furthers human encounters and forges social ties within the city. La Rochelle is turned to the world and the meeting of peoples, both in its historical ties and its contemporary openness around the creation and cultural diffusion.

The different structures of the city proved this:

In the city, the « Le Centre Intermondes » organizes meetings and residencies for foreign artists, the New World Museum focuses on the History shared between La Rochelle and North America, the Aquarium, the media library, La Coursive, Le Carré Amelot a cultural place dedicated to visual and sound arts and the University. Thanks to its activities, all of these infrastructures contribute widely to the spread of universal knowledge.

In the outlying districts, "La Sirene", a space for Modern Music in La Pallice, "l'Agora" in Villeneuve les Salines, Community centers in Laleu-La Pallice, Mireuil, Port Neuf, Tasdon, Saint Eloi - Beauregard,… Schools take part in its way in inter-neighborhood events…

The international solidarity associations, numerous in La Rochelle, also play an important role in its openness to the world.

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From the connected city to the clever city

The openness to the world, welcome, transmission, and the exchange…is the DNA of a port city as La Rochelle. The digital strategy of the city shows that these values adapt also to the future.

Reconsidered like that, La Rochelle is a city that urges people to reflect on the contribution of cultural diversity and intercultural exchange in relation to its population and friendly relationships. For example, the city has connections with its counterparts; New Rochelle in the United-States, Akko in Israel, Petrozavodsk in Russia, Lübeck in Germany, Essaouira in Morocco, and Figueiro Santiago in Portugal, from the point of view of its common history but also economically, politically, and culturally.

Facing the advent of globalization and environmental issues, people from La Rochelle early positioned themselves and got involved in sustainable development for future generations. Since several years, the city commits to respecting urban ecology and some innovative initiatives had a local impact, then nationally and even an international impact.

In this context favorable for creation, innovation, exchange, sharing and with a wealth of their previous community experience, the founding members of the Club for UNESCO of La Rochelle gathered together to create an educational association promoting multiculturalism. Afterwards, they obtained its membership from the French National Commission for UNESCO and French Federation of UNESCO Clubs.

UNESCO Clubs play a role both on the national and international stage. Based on an intercultural education, this affiliation requires an openness to other cultures by teaching exchange, sharing, dialogue, and enriching one-self with different cultures.