Grand Paris, is it more than just a grand design?12th August 2015
With the City of Light bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games and the 2025 World Expo, The Grand Paris renewal project is once again coming into the focus of international investors. But do we have a clear idea of what Grand Paris project actually is?
A brand new city concept:
Covering 8% of the Ile-de-France region and 157 municipalities the Grand Paris plan was launched by former president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 involves the construction of a new automated transport system, brand new business clusters and 70,000 new homes (per year). Sustainability is the watchword: the extended city will incorporate both nature and urbanism, delivering parks and green spaces. Generally though, the programme is designed to create more efficient links to central Paris and the key business and residential suburbs surrounding the city.
What about the transport?
In the first wave of the programme, some €12bn is earmarked for the extension of the metro lines and RER toward the West. The whole transport network will be modernized, with the creation of tramways and new buses. The second wave shows plans for 200km of automatic metro lines (The Grand Paris Express), 68 new stations and, as a result, 20,000 jobs will be created. The target for the programme is for 90% of Ile de France residents to live less than 2km from a station.
Which areas are concerned?
The communities that will be affected by the project are central Paris, the Haut-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and the Val-de-Marne departments. Grand Paris will be a dense metropolis, bigger than central Paris is now (105km2) and once complete will increase this metropolitan area to 800km2. By comparison, Greater London is around 1,400km2. By 2030 the Grand Paris Express metro bypass will cover the whole new metropolitan area and it is widely regarded that this is Paris’ chance to break down the borders of the central Paris area and maximise the business potential throughout the 12,000km2 Ile de France region.