Jean-Marie Bockel, Mayor of Mulhouse

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Comments in support of
Jean-Marie Bockel
Mayor of Mulhouse (France)

The finalists for the 2006 World Mayor Award were chosen on the number of votes received as well as on the persuasiveness and conviction of supporting statements. Below we publish an representative selection of comments received about the mayor.

Comment: C'est un très bon maire, qui applique une politique de terrain, qui n'a pas hésité pour cela à aller à contre-courant de son parti, notamment en étant ferme sur la sécurité. Il est président de l'association des grandes villes de France. Il est par ailleurs sympatique et abordable.

Comment: He is the right man, at the right time in the right place.

Comment: Mulhouse, Mulhouse, Mulhouse : how is it ? Just great ! !
What was just a name on a map, which one never had a idea to visit (to be honest, Mulhouse was a gloomy city in the 1970’s), is today a marvellous and really attractive city. How explain so huge an improvement? A man and his effective commitments for Mulhouse: JM Bockel. Contrary to many other mayors, JM Bockel has done what he promised. And what he promised Mulhouse’s inhabitants and did, is more than a simple action: it’s a lot of impressive projects.

Firstly, he has fostered an actual development of Mulhouse.
* Social action : he engaged a huge plan to fight poverty. Even if the fight against poverty is a never-ending mission, he has been endeavouring to improve his action, since he was in charge.
* Public transports : Obviously, a yellow-red tram. In fact, it’s more than a tram, because it’s able to go on rails (hence its name: tram-train). Good for our sustainable development and an important means to connect people.
* Education : Just an example. Young people, who want to study law, have to go around Mulhouse and sometimes really far away. Nevertheless, JB Bockel has decided with the council to build a new University. What is outstanding is that the site is downtown. Young students from working class therefore could go to University, without paying for transport and accommodation. It’s fair and equitable.

Secondly, Mulhouse has to face up to violence like other French cities. Nevertheless, it has been acting better, even though Mulhouse has larger communities of immigrants than most other French cities. JM Bockel achieved better results so that he was interviewed all the time about his methods, during the Paris riots of October 2005.

Thirdly, he negotiated with the government to create a technology centre for automobile industry (vehicle of the future), near Mulhouse. It gathers universities, R&D (research workers), firms. It’s an effective settlement of the unemployment issue. And, it will create new opportunities, which will boost the local labour market.

It would be easy to highlight others successes of JB Bockel, but it’s better to say: Come and visit us, you’ll understand the great transformation of Mulhouse and you’ll ask: Who’s the captain of the ship? So, in France, we have two wizards: Carlos Goshn for automobile industry, and Jean-Marie Bockel for mayor (I don’t speak about Zidane, who has unfortunately retired).

From my point of view, JB Bockel’s most significant achievement is something you couldn’t touch or see: the pride to live in Mulhouse. Mulhouse’s inhabitants used to describe their town, as a ugly and gloomy city. Some of them believed it was difficult to say they came from Mulhouse. Now, Mulhouse’s inhabitants are proud of their town. Be proud : it’s such an incredible shift in only twenty years, isn’t it !

This is the proof of a wizard power, no ? VOTE FOR HIM !

Comment: Un Maire qui se dépense pour sa ville. Il redore l'image d'une ville industrielle, en ville dynamique et attractive par le biais des transports en commun, mais également par la restructuration de patrimoine industriel, et la création de nouveaux quartiers, sans oublier la création de manifestations tout au long de l'année. Il mérite le titre de World Mayor !

Comment: En tant qu'ancien Mulhousien, je peux dire que Jean-Marie Bockel est un bon Maire. On sent chez lui un désir d'ouverture également politique (comme un de ses prédécésseurs : Emile Muller). Je lui souhaite d'être ministre si Mr Sarkosy est élu Président de la République Française

Comment: Merci pour le Tram, une idée fantastique pour oxygèner la ville.

Comment: Quand j'étais petite, mon rêve était de quitter Mulhouse, ville triste, grise, industrielle. Au jourd'hui, je rêve de revenir m'y installer! Jean-Marie Bockel a radicallement changer la ville : que ce soit dans la rénovation du quartier de Coteaux (quartier pauvre de Mulhouse) ou dans la mise en place du tram train. La culture tient en plus un place de plus en plus importante dans la vie de la ville avec l'organisation de différents festivals de musique, la rénovation du musée de l'automobile internationnalement connu. Avec la création d'un nouveau campus universitaire et la mise en place de pôle de compétitivité (automobile), la ville est résoluement tournée vers le future. Mulhouse est devenue une ville ou il fait bon vivre.

Comment: Jean Marie Bockel is a man sincerely motivated to bring a perpetual development for his city. He's focuses on what citizens think. He's a man who says what he does and does what he says. He deserves this award.

Comment: Simply the best. Hopla Jean Marie, hesch gewonne.

Comment: I live in Mulhouse and it is really a wonderful city because there is a lot of trees grass, I wish you can visit our university because I think it's one of the most beautiful when the sun is shining in Mulhouse it's great and it is thanks to M Bokel that it's like that we also have a tramway for a few month and the city center is better thanks to it. M Bokel achieved a lot to have a city like that and it's true that ten years ago the city was not so pleasant.

Comment: Il a réveillé Mulhouse que l'on pouvait voir comme une "belle endormie". Il agit avec conviction et pugnacité, tout en cherchant le soutien et l'adhésion hors du parti socialiste. C'est un leader qui a une vision et qui la fait partager et la fait vivre. Il apporte de la vie et du dynamisme dans une ville qui a longtemps été délaissée par le maire précédent. Il met en avant les atouts de la ville, il recréée des liens dans la ville.

Comment: Mr. Bockel has a extraordinary humans qualitiess. His heart lives in an extraordinary harmony with all the citizens of Mulhouse: Mr. Bockel makes no differences between the people. He respects all races and minorities. He is an extraordinary person.

Comment: Jean Marie BOCKEL is a very fine person ; he has done a lot for his town, and is very easy to talk to. I have lived in Mulhouse for 20 years, and the changes he has brought about are quite incredible. I hope he will win this contest.

Comment: An excellent Mayor who is inspired and changed the city from hellhole to a good place to live in . There is still some work to do but he is doing a great job.

Comment: This mayor has been the main actor of the reconstruction and restructuring of Mulhouse, a city with a heavy industrial past which desperately needed this kind of a change and this kind of a charismatic and wonderful man to do it!!! I would install in Mulhouse anytime if I could, it's a wonderful city right, and it's getting even better!!! Thank you Jean-Marie Bockel!!!

Comment: Monsieur Bockel est resté fidèle à ses principes de jusice sociale en veillant à un équilibre entre les quartiers de sa ville et en rénovant les quartiers anciens (Vauban, Fonderie, Wagner..) Il sait mener des projets ambitieux comme la politique d'agglomération, le Tram-train, le développement de la région avec le TGV...

Comment: The mayor has organised the mutation of an old moribund industrial city into a dynamic city of the 21st century. He has completely changed the face of the city by renovating the old industrial infrastructure and the ancient barracks, more than a century old. Many old building of historical interest have been converted into social houses. The communication with center of the city has been improved by building a tramway with establishes a connection with the peripheral areas. It is amazing to see how, in a few years, the city has been transformed to be more lively and better looking . The population of various ethnic origins is well integrated, lots of efforts are made to offer jobs and activities to all social groups. A number of cultural activities are offered thanks to a big theatre and a number of cultural events. The technical museums are encouraged to invest to attract tourists. Overall, although Mulhouse has never been considered an attractive city because of its industrial history, it is today a nice looking place where you feel good.

Comment: Deux points forts: le développement de deux lignes de tranmway qui modernisent et embellissent la ville et la politique de développement social des quartiers pauvres, volontariste et participative.

Comment: Mr Bockel has a long-term vision. For instance Mulhouse will be the first city in France to link rail transport and urban transport to offer a tram-train network with continuity between them.

Comment: Son engagement politique a gauche, en faveur du developpement social dans une region ou l'activité economique est en forte evolution est exemplaire

Comment: J'effectue ce choix en tant que mulhousien et au motif que M. Bockel a su fédérer bon des localités voisines autour d'un projet d'agglomération commun. Il est aussi un pragmatique, engagé dans les problématique environnementale et à l'écoute des préoccupations des gens (sécurité, intégration, social,..). Enfin il a une vision de sa ville au sein d'ensembles plus vaste c'est pourquoi il est également actif sur des dossiers de grands projets structurant à l'échelle nationale.

Comment: Jean-Marie BOCKEL has an outstanding record of achievement as a progressive and action-focused mayor of a difficult, rather poor city. In his 17 years in office, he dramatically changed Mulhouse and led the city into the XXIst century as a vivid, colourful, ecological and prosperous modern town at the heart of metro Europe.

Comment: Parce qu'à partir d'une vision globale et d'une bonne perception des réalités, il a à mon sens un projet pertinent et structuré pour sa ville mais aussi la volonté et le courage requis pour le mettre en oeuvre.

Comment: M Bockel a su créer un concenssus au sein de la population et des différentes composantes sociales et économiques de la Ville de Mulhouse pour mener à bien, en une quinzaine d'année, un vaste programme de réanimation urbaine et économique de la Ville. C'est cette capacité à animer et fédérer les différents acteurs locaux qui ont permis la réalisation de projets trés ambitieux, comme le Tram Train notamment, qui permettent à Mulhouse de passer du statut de ville en crise et en déclin à celui d'une ville conquérante et ambitieuse.

More than 100,000 citizens from around the world have taken part in the 2006 World Mayor Project.

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