Urban Planning in Paris: Saving the City from Itself [%new%]
26th August 2014
News Credit- Sakhi Shah
Paris is plagued with inequality, with its suburbs forming a radically different view from the city itself – quiet, run-down, and full of crime. Even though the riots occurred in 2005, the suburbs of Paris are still miserable, especially due to their poor living conditions.
The Proposed Solution
The proposed solution is to create a ‘Metropole du Grand Paris’, a city which will integrate Paris along with 120 of its closest suburbs. This greater Paris area will have over 7 million people and cover 270 square miles. While each of its current cities will continue to exist as a distinct municipality, and will continue to have its current mayor as well authority over some local authorities including primary education and marriage, they will grouped together with a common tax base, and a common urban plan for the region. This region is based around 10 principles, including a major expansion of the public transport network, economic and social rebalancing, and sustainability for the future.
The plan has been touted as being similar to the boroughs of New York city, though it is on a considerably larger scale. The basis for this plan is the need to have greater coordination between Paris and its surrounding suburbs – since Paris relies on its suburbs for housing, industries, workers, airports, and several other facilities. However, it faces a great deal of opposition from the members of wealthier suburbs, who do not want to share a common tax base. However, its basis is that the region must be developed with the needs of the entire region in mind. Many suburbs are isolated, which does not lead to the healthy development of the suburbs. Many suburbs have become home to an extremely vulnerable population base. Most do not have adequate public transportation, and the housing projects (built hastily after World War II) have fallen into disrepair and are often taken over by slumlords. However, there is considerable political struggle – residents from the suburbs do not understand the need for such a project, and residents within the city do not want the suburbs to get access to their resources in a subsidised manner. Further, the scale of the project is considered impracticable by many. The solution must be found soon, and ideally, politically.