The inauguration of the Thalys Lille-Amsterdam high-speed train service represents much more than just an additional line to add to the numerous existing rail connections in Europe.
It is in fact a new basis upon which to build relations between these two major cities.
While Amsterdam enjoys an international status thanks to its role as the capital of the Netherlands, Lille’s renown and recognition have continued to soared in recent years.
Lille and Amsterdam both share a common point in their respective histories: a culture of commerce. Still today, they are considered central marketplaces and hosts to international trade fairs and symposia.
The harbours and airports close to these two cities, and the quality of their respective infrastructures, make them anchoring points for business, attracting investors as well as tourists.
Art and culture further enhance their attractiveness. While Marcel Wanders gives an extravagant and refined lustre to the Andaz Hotel in Amsterdam, exemplifying the Dutch Touch, Lille invites the major design schools of the world to reinvent new uses for design in the heart of the metropolis with the project “Lille Design for Change”.
So is it any wonder that today these two major cities share a reputation as leaders in design? Both have placed design at the heart of their development projects for business. Northern enterprises such as Doublet, Mac Cain, Decathlon, Kipsta, Eveil & Jeux (ID Group) innovate in packaging, manufactured goods, textiles. Dutch enterprises such as Mutsy, Triumph Studios, ING, Mattmo, Philips, also continue to prove their creativity with their internationally recognized design.
Business and design make a good marriage in these European metropolises. Simply hit the rails with the Thalys to see for yourself!