Paris in 2030

Mar 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Sustainable Design

“In every man there is a poet, and in the city in which he lives there should be mystery, secrets, and surprises.”

After 9 months of work, ten architectural firms presented their proposals for a “Grand Paris 2030” to French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday. Sarkozy had asked the firms to “project 20 years into the future and dream up the world’s most sustainable post-Kyoto metropolis,” according to an article in the Telegraph. France 24 noted that three themes were common to all of the plans: sustainable development, transportation, and connecting central Paris with its suburbs.

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Some of the proposals include:

Building 20 “sustainable towns” of half a million people each in the Paris area, while doubling the amount of forested land and integrating agriculture into the landscape on the city’s outskirts.

Extending the city all the way to the Channel port of Le Havre via Rouen along the Seine, thus maximizing the potential of the Seine waterfront and realizing Napoleon Bonaparte’s idea of a city with the Seine as its main street.

Uniting cut-off communities by replacing the rain lines that separate them with green spaces to bring them together, while filling the city with renewable energy production and redesigning areas so as to limit commute times to a half hour.

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Paris architect Roland Castro, whose team included a sociologist, a writer and a philosopher, said:

“We applied the philosopher’s concept that in every man there is a poet, and in the city in which he lives there should be mystery, secrets, and surprises.”

At this point, the proposals are all very conceptual (Sarkozy reportedly gave the planners “the absolute freedom to dream”), but as Nicolai Ouroussoff notes in the New York Times: All forsook flashy imagery for a deep analysis of the city’s diverse communities and the fraying tissue that binds them together… all of the projects recognize the strong link between urban policy and social equality.”

Next, the plans will be presented to the public, and a public exhibition of the plans will open April 29.

Via The Telegraph, France 24

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