In recent years the port city of Nantes has been one of the most successful in France at reinventing itself. Indeed, the rebranding narrative that can be told is one familiar from elsewhere in the Western world. In 1989, the Parti Socialiste returned to municipal power under Jean-Marc Ayrault, who has been the mayor ever since. The city’s new image was developed with the aid of the advertising fi rm Saatchi & Saatchi, and the narrative selections that emerged favored openness, métissage, qualifi ed employment in the tertiary sector, culture, and the environment over old industry and social confrontations. (The last shipyard in Nantes closed in 1987.) These strategies have worked, as the economic growth rate enjoyed by the city in the 1990s ran at twice the national average. The mayor’s editorial in the municipal journal in 1992 took up the idea of the port and thus of openness to the outside world, to adventure-the Jules Verne museum is a signifi cant tourist attraction, though there is little on Nantes in his novels-and cosmopolitanism: “When Nantes opens wide its doors and windows, it’s a city capable of anything”; the taste for adventure is inscribed in her genes, the city’s motto, dating from the Restoration, is Favet Neptunus eunti, “Neptune favors those who set off.” In Nantes, there is a “West Coast” effect, its identity is an Atlantic one, for the city “has always experienced periods of take-off when it has opened out to the world” (Ayrault 1992). (This despite the fact that Nantes’ population of foreign birth is around 2%, instead of the national average of 7%, although since the French census does not ask about ethnicity, this fi gure can only be guessed at.) The phrase “NantesAtlantique” names the airport, football team, and port itself, which, taking into account the agglomeration with St. Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire (where successful shipbuilding still takes place) is the most important on Europe’s Atlantic façade.