Nantes, labeled art and history city, is the capital city of the Pays de la Loire region and the Loire-Atlantique département and also the largest city in the Grand-Ouest (North westernFrance). Together with Vannes, Rennes andCarhaix, it was one of the major cities of the historic province of Brittany, and the ancientDuchy of Brittany. Though officially separated from Brittany over 60 years ago, Nantes is culturally Breton and still widely regarded as its capital city.
In 2004, Time described Nantes as "the most liveable city in Europe". In 2010, Nantes was named a hub city for innovation in the Innovation Cities Index by innovation agency, 2thinknow.The city was ranked 36th globally from 289 cities and 4th overall in France, behind Paris,Lyon and Strasbourg for innovation across multiple sectors of the economy.As of 2013, Nantes holds the title of European Green Capitalfor its efforts to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, for its high quality and well-managed public transport system and for its biodiversity with 3,366 hectares of green spaces and several Natura 2000 zones which guarantee a protection of nature in the area.