With a population of more than 20,000 people (20,756 in 2016), Renens is the fourth largest town in the Vaud Canton. Renens is also the capital of the Western-Lausanne district, which includes the towns of Bussigny, Chavannes-près-Renens, Crissier, Ecublens, Prilly, Saint-Sulpice, Villars-Sainte-Croix and Renens.
Renens is a small city on the move. It is situated in the middle of an important intersection of roads and public transport networks. At least a dozen neighbourhood plans are under development, including the modernisation of the train station and the extension of the T1 tram line, both of which are scheduled for completion in 2020. A number of shops, cafes and restaurants bring the town centre to life, and the “Place du Marché”, which was renovated in 2011, provides residents with a place to come together. Live entertainment and other activities often take place here, and a market is held every Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon.
The town is made up essentially of rented apartment blocks, with a couple of townhouse estates. There are, however, also many green spaces, including forests, public parks with infrastructure for relaxation, and playgrounds for children. Factories have progressively moved out and have been replaced by the service sector. For example, the former “Iril” stocking factory is now home to the Art School of the Vaud Canton (“L’ECAL”), after renovation of the building by well-known architect Bernard Tschumi.
Foreigners represent a little over 50% of the total population. More than 100 nationalities coming from each of the 5 continents are represented in Renens. However, a significant portion of such foreigners were born in Switzerland, and some have lived here for many years.
The reduction of packaging and an end to the use of plastic bags (which pollute the town’s composting efforts) are waste-management priorities for Renens. The local authorities are unable to influence the composition of products sold by large supermarket chains. They are nevertheless aiming to encourage the population to purchase more products in bulk, without packaging, through information diffused via the town’s newsletter “Carrefour Info”, its website and Facebook page.