Montpellier is considered a hot number among cities, I’ve discovered since I’ve been here. It’s not only got a beautiful historic centre, but the city’s mayor, Georges Freche, has dedicated his last 30 years to taking it into the 21st century.
He’s built business parks around the core, which have attracted the likes of IBM and Dell. (And I say “he” deliberately, since mayors here have powers that Canadian mayors can only dream of.)
He’s had two super-modern tram lines built through the city. He banned cars from the city’s central square, making it the largest car-free city plaza in France. And of course Montpellier has a bike-share system.