The Association of Vaud Municipalities (UCV) calls for a round table

The city of Lausanne wants to promote employment on its territory. If the Vaud capital wants to keep betting on its trump cards – health, education, sport and tourism – which still have great potential for growth, it also intends to diversify its economic fabric, particularly in the secondary sector. The municipality creates a new body: the Department of Development and Promotion of the City of Lausanne.

As the fourth-largest Swiss city in terms of size and population, Lausanne is far from this in terms of economy and employment. “The report is sad, we have a higher unemployment rate than the canton of Vaud, which itself has a rate higher than the Swiss average,” Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand, economic officer for the municipality of Lausanne, told the press bluntly on Tuesday “Defects”.

“Lausanne has missed certain important stages of economic development,” he continued. The banking sector has never reached the scale of Geneva or Zurich, the same applies to the pharmaceutical sector compared to Basel. The city never had a great industrial tradition,” Hildbrand recalls. “All this burdens the presence of the headquarters of large companies”.

Not enough private jobs

“We have a pool of modest private jobs compared to the population. The potential for more employment on our soil is enormous,” added trustee Grégoire Junod. “In the last fifteen years we have developed new and large residential areas. It is the right time to put on the table a strategy aimed at encouraging the creation and establishment of companies in the Lausanne region,” he said.

The municipality with a pink-green majority is regularly criticized by the right for not doing enough economically and, above all, for creating jobs. On Tuesday, at the Biopôle site in Lausanne-Vennes, she clearly expressed her ambition: “to promote Lausanne as a major economic destination”. Mr Junod promised to make this one of the priorities of the 2021-2026 legislative programme.

“If the city has solid assets, it must now launch an ambitious project to promote the territory and its stakeholders, and equip itself with an organization that will ensure the optimal development of the various strategic places of activity,” the two presidents concluded. Lausanne will therefore continue to develop and strengthen its key areas that make up its “ecosystem”: health, education, sports and tourism.

Tertiary-Secondary Rebalancing

But the city also wants to promote the diversification of the economic structure. As? The response of his trustee Grégoire Junod.

We must therefore dampen the very strong growth in the tertiary sector compared to that in the secondary sector, which also has growth potential, said the Lausanne administrator. It will also be about cultivating close relationships with the private sector.

Grégoire Junod also said he wanted to “play the map of secondary tourist cities to the full compared to major European capitals”.

Based on all these observations, the commune has defined a strategic vision based on three axes: the development of six activity areas (Biopôle, Rasude and Pôle gare, Beaulieu, Plaines-du-Loup, Sévelin-Sébeillon-Provence and Vernand , Prés -de-Vidy), the promotion of Lausanne as an economic and tourist destination, and knowledge of the players and the economic flows they generate.

To implement this strategy, the municipality is creating a completely new unit, the Department of Development and Promotion of the City of Lausanne. It will be composed of five people and will be led by the syndicate’s strategic advisor, Fabrice Bernard. She will define the strategic vision that the Vaud capital currently lacks. A surprising fact? We find Gregoire Junod.

The City’s Development and Promotion Unit will implement and lead the action plan over the period 2023-2026.

Isabelle Bertolini with Keystone ATS

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