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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I made this gallery of pictures for another thread, but I thought people here might also find these interesting, so here it is for you.

As of January 2007, there are officially 2,563,818 people living in the French overseas departments/regions and territories, which is exactly 4% of the French Republic's total population. These French overseas departments/regions and territories are spread across the Caribbean, South America, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.

The largest French overseas cities are (ranked by the population of their urban areas):
- Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe): 171,773 inhabitants (in March 1999)
- Saint-Denis-de-la-Réunion (Réunion): 158,139 (in March 1999)
- Nouméa (New Caledonia): 146,245 (in Sept. 2004)
- Saint-Pierre (Réunion): 140,700 (in Jan. 2004)
- Fort-de-France (Martinique): 134,727 (in March 1999)
- Papeete (French Polynesia): 127,635 (in Dec. 2002)
- Saint-Paul (Réunion): 92,500 (in Jan. 2004)
- Cayenne (French Guiana): 84,181 (in March 1999; more than 100,000 today)

Saint-Denis-de-la-Réunion

Saint-Denis-de-la-Réunion is the capital of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

The old city hall


General view of the city


The suburbs


The University of Réunion


A new development in Saint-Denis, under construction


The dual tram-train line that will be built to link Saint-Denis and the neighboring towns. It will be similar to the type of Stadtbahn pioneered in Karlsruhe.




In between Saint-Denis and the other towns it will look more like a train.


Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France is the capital of Martinique in the Caribbean.







High-rise building under construction in Fort-de-France. Here are the renderings:










Construction of this high-rise started last year:




Restructuring of the La Savane park in the center of Fort-de-France:


Construction of a commercial mall in the historical center of Fort-de-France:




Work on a motorway/freeway in the suburbs of Fort-de-France:


Nouméa

Nouméa is the capital of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. The standard of living is the same as in Western Europe.









The new Tjibaou Cultural Centre, built by Renzo Piano in the suburbs of Nouméa and opened in 1998, presents the art and culture of the native Melanesian inhabitants. No offence to Sydney, but I think it is by far the most iconic building complex in the South Pacific.









 

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Wow!!!!!!! Noumea!!!! I'm now googling this place! hahaha! Amazing!
That Tjibaou Cultural Center is Indeed Very Iconic! More beautiful that Sydney Opera! Blends Well with Nature.....
 

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Thanks Brisavoine I lived two years in Saint Denis

Maison des Civilisations de la Réunion
It is a museum of civilisation of Reunion island since this iland has people from Europe, China, Africa, India and Middle East It make this departement one of diverse of France




Two high-rises planned for Cambraie a new city planned in the Grand West urban area (St Paul wich has now more than 100,000 inhabitants)

hypodrome of Cambraie

Other rendering of tis new city Crambraie would be between 30,000 and 40,000 inhabitants



The map of the the light rail


Brisavoine do you have some news about the freeway bridge wich was ploughed up ?
This bridge was a vital way for la Reunion with over 50,000 cars per day

The construction of the Tamarin Freeways between Saint Paul and le Tampon ?
And the reconstruction of the freeway between Saint-Denis and Le Port ?


For understand, the maps of Reunion island
cities, airports and rivers

the freeway, highway and road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do these French Overseas cities have as their primary industries? Is it primarily tourism?
No, tourism is only a minor sector of the economy in these cities. The number one sector is administration (civil service), since these cities serve as the capital of their territory, with lots of local and state administrations. The transportation sector is also important since these cities usually have the main airport and seaport of their territory. According to the French Wikipedia, the container port of Fort-de-France is the 5th-largest in France (!). I know Le Havre is the number one container port in France, then there's probably Marseille and Dunkirk, but I don't know which one is fourth. Fort-de-France is fifth, interesting.

These cities also have manufacturing industries, but as elsewhere in the developped world, the manufacturing sector is small, the largest sector being services, same as in western Europe or North America. Nouméa, however, has a big industrial sector based on nickel extraction, treatment and shipping. Nouméa is arguably the most industrial city in the South Pacific, and its harbor ships large quantities of nickel (New Caledonia is the largest producer of nickel in the world). I didn't show you pictures of that ugly industrial part of town above.

That's the industrial part of Nouméa. Thanks God it's in the northern suburbs, quite sheltered from the southern pretty areas of Nouméa that I showed you before.






Even with an industrial environment, the beauty of New Caledonia strikes the eyes.
 

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Don't know if this is the right place to ask the question, but hey. Do any of you guys know if french language courses are offered in these overseas parts of France? I want to improve my French, doing it in one of these exotic places must be great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Don't know if this is the right place to ask the question, but hey. Do any of you guys know if french language courses are offered in these overseas parts of France? I want to improve my French, doing it in one of these exotic places must be great!
You're right, it's not really the right place to ask that question, but anyway, here is your answer: these places are part of the French educational system, so there are French high schools and universities same as in metropolitan France. I don't know if they offer classes for foreign students wishing to learn French, but you can always ask them. In Paris I know one of the Paris universities offers summer classers for foreign students wishing to learn French.

The best place to ask is at the "rectorat" (aka "académie") of each of these departments and territories. The "rectorat" is the local branch of the French Ministry of Education in charge of overseeing schools and universities in the department or territory. Make a search in google for each rectorat. Here is the rectorat of New Caledonia for instance:
http://www.ac-noumea.nc/sitevr/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My most favorite is the "vice-rectorat" of the far-away islands of Wallis and Futuna lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean:
http://www.wallis.co.nc/vrwf/

On their website they explain how the history and geography curriculums should be adapted to the particular situation of Wallis and Futuna. So for example instead of concentrating on Roman and Greek Antiquity as in metropolitan France, they ask history professors to spend a lot of time on Polynesian migrations in pre-European times (which professors obviously don't do in metropolitan France). And they ask geography professor to understand that Wallisian and Futunian pupils have no clue what a "city" is, so the professor must pay great attention when teaching the geography lessons dealing with urbanism and cities. Reading the details of this adapted curriculum from the "vice-rectorat" was quite fascinating I must say.
 

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The Reunion island has always been to me one of the most interesting places on earth I wish to visit

There's something about such a big city in the middle of the ocean that really intrigues me, its cultural diversity, its geological and volcanic situation, its demographics, etc
 

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france has tropical palm trees?
BTW, some are futruristic
 

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france has tropical palm trees?
BTW, some are futruristic
Metropolitan France have not a tropical climate, but there is some Palms in the south of the country (especially in the French Riviera).

But here, we are to deal with the French Overseas Departements and Territories, who are parts of France located in the Pacific, Caribbean sea and Indian Ocean (there is also Antartic territories and St Pierre et Miquelon near Canada).

Many of these territories have tropical climate, you can consider them as France but its differs from Metroplitan France that you know :)
 

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hm... There is palm trees that grow in Britanny ... yes north-west of France, it's called micro-climatic regions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Have you been to Noumea? It doesn't have a Western European living standard. It's still a nice place though.
In 2004, according to official figures from the New Caledonia statistics institute, the GDP per capita of New Caledonia was 25,352 US dollars. Greater Nouméa account for 63% of New Caledonia's population, and GDP per capita there is significantly higher than in the rest of New Caledonia, so I would say the GDP per capita in Greater Noumea is possibly about 29,000 US dollars whereas the GDP per capita of the rest of New Caledonia is about 19,000 US dollars (just an educated guess).

For comparisons, in the same same year (2004), the GDP per capita of New Zealand was 24,706 US dollars according to the World Bank. The GDP per capita of Spain was 24,577 US dollars, Singapore 24,134, Italy 28,782, Australia 31,421. So I think it's not an exageration to say that Nouméa has a West European standard of living. Not to mention that there is also a part of the population who are metropolitan French retirees spending their retirement in Nouméa. These people have a revenue (pensions) but they do not produce anything, thereby artificially decreasing the GDP per capita of New Caledonia (the same happens on the French Riviera where the high proportion of retirees gives a low GDP per capita for the French Riviera which does not correspond to the real revenues of people there). In Nouméa this phenomenon happens too, although not to the same extent as on the French Riviera.
 
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