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Old April 26th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #2021
brisavoine
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For those who understand French, there was a program this morning on France Culture radio about Greater Paris. Some leading architects explained their urban vision of a Greater Paris. You can listen to the program here: http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/fr...s/vivre_ville/

The week before, they had invited local politicians who had failed to agree on their vision of a political Greater Paris. You can listen to it here: http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/fr...usion_id=71937
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:20 AM   #2022
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The local council of Neuilly-sur-Neuilly, in partnership with the City of Paris administration, has proposed a complete transformation of the avenue linking La Défense to the historical heart of Paris. The A14 motorway, which currently runs on the 10-lane avenue, thus generating a very intense traffic and acting as a barrier in the Paris urban fabric, would be buried in a tunnel to be dug under the avenue. The avenue would then be transformed from the current motorway-like craze into a real urban avenue (a bit like the Champs-Elysées), with enlarged sidewalks and less traffic than today.

The huge and empty square and big roundabout at Porte Maillot, on the 1860 administrative border between the City of Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine, which is another barrier in the Paris urban fabric, would be also totally transformed. The big roundabout would be removed, and a real avenue lined with buildings would be constructed. Several blocks of buildings would be built to fill the large empty space, in order to somehow "weld" the urban fabric of the City of Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine. In particular, the 8-lane Périphérique motorway, which runs along the border of the City of Paris, would be covered around the Porte Maillot, and buildings built over it, so people would cross the Périphérique (and the border of the City of Paris) without even realizing it. Some towers could also be built facing the tower of the exhibition center at Porte Maillot (the City of Paris administration is apparently keen on that).

Here is a view of the transformed avenue linking La Défense (in the background) to the historical heart of Paris (in the back of the photographer). Notice the two towers that could be built at Porte Maillot, to the left of the avenue in the middle ground, facing the tower of the Porte Maillot exhibition center (the tower most to the right). These towers would be much more visible from the Champs-Elysées than the more distant towers of La Défense.


A closer view of Porte Maillot, showing how it would be transformed (huge empty space filled with buildings and an avenue replacing the big empty roundabout). The historical heart of Paris is beyond the Arc de Triomphe in the background. La Défense is in the back of the photographer. You can see the covered Périphérique motorway in the foreground, with blocks of building built over it.


For comparison, this is the Porte Maillot today. A huge empty space that is a physical barrier in the Paris urban fabric. A bit like Potsdamer Platz in Berlin after they tore down the Berlin Wall in 1989.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:28 AM   #2023
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I remember they talked about this idea of a buried A14, however since there weren't any news for years I thought this was a dead idea.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:31 AM   #2024
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Originally Posted by Matthieu View Post
I thought this was a dead idea.
Apparently not. The City of Paris is now supporting it too. The new mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine has manoeuvred well. And the French president is in favor of it anyway, so the prefect of Île-de-France (Greater Paris), who represents the French state, has never stopped working on the issue these past two years.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:38 AM   #2025
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Pictures showing the heightening of Axa Tower in the past weeks:
http://www.ladefense.fr/viewtravauxencours.php
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #2026
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A map showing the giant loop of the French president (in red) and the Métrophérique of the Greater Paris region (in black, also known as Arc Express). See post #2021 above for more details.

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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #2027
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Hermitage towers is taller than tour eiffel?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #2028
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Not if you include Eiffel Tower's antennas, but the structure itself are tallers yeah.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #2029
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The best account in the English-speaking press of Nicolas Sarkozy's speech and announcements yesterday can be found in The Independent. All the other English-language newspapers (essentially British in fact) that talked about it were full of clichés, simplifications, cheap jokes, and misunderstandings, but The Independent has a very good correspondent in Paris who wrote a very decent and factual article. Here it is. It sums up Sarkozy's announcements better than I could do.
Quote:
Sarko's €35bn rail plan for a 'Greater Paris'

A driverless, 24-hour, regional metro system, in the shape of a giant figure eight, will connect Paris to its troubled suburbs by the year 2020, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced today.

By John Lichfield in Paris
The Independent
Wednesday, 29 April 2009

M. Sarkozy promised a recession-busting, €35bn investment in new and existing rapid transit systems to help to create a single "Greater Paris" from a jumbled conurbation of 12,000,000 people in the space of 10 years.

"The economic crisis can only be beaten by grand projects," M. Sarkozy said. "There could be no grander project than to create a Greater Paris."

In a speech inaugurating an exhibition of ten architects' visions for a "Grand Paris", President Sarkozy also promised a drive to create a million jobs in the Paris area over 20 years and to build 70,000 homes a year in the capital and its suburbs. He called for a brand new underground station for high-speed, long distance trains at La Défense, just west of the city proper, and the plantation of a new forest near Charles de Gaulle airport to absorb carbon emissions.

There would also be a need, he said, for new "monuments" to rival the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. These would be constructed outside the present city boundary to create the image of a single, dynamic, greener and larger "Paris for the 21st century".

To the disappointment of some, and delight of others, M. Sarkozy side-stepped the anguished question of whether to establish a new political entity for a "Greater Paris", to match Greater London. He said that he wanted to create a "project" for the whole of the Paris area without becoming bogged down in political arguments.

Critics doubt whether a de facto Greater Paris can be achieved without an agreement on eroding the administrative boundaries between the city of Paris (pop 2,000,000) and its surrounding suburbs. President Sarkozy's suggestion yesterday that planning laws should be relaxed to allow the rapid building of new railways, homes and tower blocks also aroused deep suspicions.

The political and economic barriers and poor transport links between Paris and its "banlieues" contributed to the alienation and deprivation which fuelled the suburban riots of November 2005. The British architect Richard Rogers says that he knows "of no other large city in which the heart is so detached from the limbs".

Lord Rogers' team was one of ten invited by M. Sarkozy to put forward suggestions for the development of a "Grand Paris" for the 21st century. The ideas will be on display at the Grand Palais, off the Champs Elysées, from tomorrow.

In his speech opening the exhibition, President Sarkozy promised a ten year programme, starting in 2010 or 2011, to improve rail links between Paris and its two airports and hundreds of satellite towns. He offered Euros 21bn for the "Big Eight": a 130 kilometres (80 miles), driverless, 24-hour metro system in the form of two large loops, joining across the centre of the city.

The northern loop would have a branch to Charles de Gaulle airport and would also – with heavy symbolism - pass through the troubled towns of Montfermeil and Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 riots began. The southern loop would link the centre of the city to, amongst other places, Orly Airport and Versailles. President Sarkozy also promised another Euros 14bn for the extension and re-equipment of existing Metro, regional metro (RER) and suburban railway lines.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 09:10 PM   #2030
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An article in the New York Times about Sakozy's speech and announcements on Wednesday. The article rightly points out the major shortcoming in Sarkozy's announcements: the project of creating a political Greater Paris was shelved (the president said the creation of a political Greater Paris will be the responsibility of the next generation of political leaders... i.e. let's hope our children have more political courage than us... ).

And so the entanglement of multiple administrative and political layers in Greater Paris will continue for the time being, with hundreds of independent mayors. It threatens to derail a lot of the projects announced on Wednesday, particularly the urban development projects (urban development is the sole responsibility of the hundreds of independent mayors).
Quote:
Sarkozy Envisions Urban Regeneration for Paris and Suburbs

The New York Times
April 30, 2009

President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a grand design in urban overhaul for the greater Paris region on Wednesday, emphasizing the need to improve transport links as a way to better integrate the city and its sprawling suburbs.

He presented the plan, referred to as “Grand Paris,” in a keynote speech during which he outlined a sweepingly ambitious urban regeneration project for the city and its suburbs. He said it would take a decade and cost tens of billion of euros.

“What I’m proposing is certainly ambitious and difficult,” he said. “It’s about preparing for the future.”

Given the complex layers of local politics here, tough urban planning rules and the fact that the country is going through the most severe financial downturn in a generation, it is unclear how many of his ambitious goals the president can attain.

Mr. Sarkozy described plans to spend €35 billion, or 47 million, on upgrading transport links in and around the city. The transport plan would be funded by the state, local governments and through partnerships with companies — a model that has been used without great success on projects in Britain.

A central element of the project would be the creation of a gigantic, driverless Métro 140 kilometers, or about 90 miles, long that would loop the city and dissect it, linking a number of important business and residential poles, like the two main airports, the La Défense business district, Versailles and Clichy.

He also lent his support to existing plans to expand capacity on the existing train and Métro networks, extend lines and improve links to the English Channel, including adding a new high-speed rail line to the coast at Le Havre.

Mr. Sarkozy initially called for the development plan in 2007. The announcement Wednesday followed the release of blueprints, now on public display, by 10 teams of architects for adapting the landscape of the Paris region to the demands of the 21st century.

In pushing the initiative, Mr. Sarkozy joins past presidents who have aimed to leave their mark on France’s signature city. For Georges Pompidou, it was the eponymous modern art center, and François Mitterrand pushed the I.M. Pei-designed glass pyramid in the court of the Louvre Museum.

Rather than leave a monument, Mr Sarkozy appears to hope that his legacy will be to better integrate the suburbs and the center, creating a stronger, more economically compact agglomeration.

Paris has around two million inhabitants, covering a relatively small area of about 105 kilometers inside the “périphérique,” or ring road. But the greater Paris region, known as the Île-de-France, sprawls for kilometers and is home to 12 million people, making it the largest urban agglomeration in the European Union. Greater London, by comparison, is home to about 7.5 million people.

“I don’t know of any big city in which the heart is so separate from the limbs,” said Richard Rogers, chairman of the London-based architect firm Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, and one of the 10 contestants.

Rich in monuments and historical buildings, the city has limited much urban development within the city limits. Building towers above 37 meters, or 120 feet, in height is not permitted without special permission.

That has mean much of the growth of the city has occurred in new towns ringing the city. Many of these have grown beyond their original planned size, sprawling into one another. Waves of immigrants have been housed on estates in the suburbs that have become isolated from the city, engendering a sense of alienation among youths.

Mr. Sarkozy announced a new objective of building 70,000 new homes a year in the region, double the current rate to try to offset the mismatch in supply and demand. A total of 1.5 million homes would be needed by 2030, he added.

Mr. Sarkozy said that he hoped to introduce a bill to Parliament in October that could be in place by the end of the year. After that, the separate plans would have to pass through a multitude of city and departmental bodies as well as separate transport boards.

“We need a change in the way we implement law,” he said, referring to the strict zoning rules and the multitiered decision-making process. “We need a change in our philosophy of urbanization.”

Bertrand Delanoë, the Socialist mayor of Paris, announced the willingness of his office to “do our part in a constructive and active way.” He warned that the project would never succeed without consultation among all interested parties.

During his speech, Mr. Sarkozy did not exclude the possibility of building upwards, a thorny issue for many in the city. “Why rule out building towers if they are beauty and if they integrate harmoniously in the urban landscape,” he said.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:32 PM   #2031
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An interesting article in the Financial Times today. The author explains why Sarkozy’s ambitious plans for Paris could never be replicated for London. Aside from a typical cliché ("Napoleon") and the factually wrong statement that Sarkozy is particularly interested in the idea of extending Paris to the Channel (wrong, it's just the project from one team out of the 10 architect teams that took part in the contest, and Paris will not physically expand to the Channel, it's just that a TGV high-speed line will be built between Paris and Le Havre), the article otherwise offers an interesting comparison between both countries and both metropolises.
Quote:
Outside Edge: Why urban fantasies leave les rosbifs cold

By Matthew Engel
Financial Times
May 1, 2009

Nicolas Sarkozy is a man with a large ego who is president of a country with a large ego, and this week he announced plans to transform Paris that even Napoleon might have regarded as a bit over the top.

Opening an exhibition of possible projects, designed by “leading architects”, he expressed particular enthusiasm for the idea of extending Paris to the Channel coast and for building more skyscrapers (“if they are beautiful”) in the city centre. Mr Sarkozy said he wanted to create a city comparable to “Jerusalem, Athens or Rome”.

That sounds to me, being British, like the trinity from hell: a choice between hatred, pollution or corruption.

But then the British do not care for grand plans of this nature. Our experience tells us that they end in tears. The glory of Paris derives from Baron Haussmann’s slum clearance plan in the 1850s. Britain’s well-meaning slum clearance of the 1960s was perhaps the greatest of all our many planning disasters.

The notion of Gordon Brown announcing something similar is completely fantastical. He wouldn’t dare. No, he wouldn’t even dream of daring. London is already convulsed by arguments over just one comparatively small scheme, the plan to redevelop the former Chelsea barracks site, which has pitted protesters led by the Prince of Wales against the architectural establishment. Public opinion appears to back the prince. New? Yuk! Grand plans? Spare us.

And yet in most areas of argument the nations’ roles are reversed. If Mr Brown’s home secretary proposes branding identity numbers on everyone’s foreheads or wiring us all for sound to assist the security services, the population will shrug and say that only the guilty need worry. If Mr Sarkozy attempts a small adjustment of employment law, the French are on the streets; a medium-sized one and they are hurling cobblestones.

Nearly 20 years ago Malcolm Rifkind, the then British transport minister, asked his French counterpart how he was able to plonk new roads and railways where he chose, an almost impossible task in Britain. “When we want to drain the swamp,” came the reply, “we do not ask the frogs.” Whether you ask les rosbifs or not, there is always trouble.

This is a mysterious business, though part of the answer seems to be that Britain is still a nation of countrymen, nearly all of whom happen to be exiled in town. We value every inch of our precious but diminishing stock of countryside, in theory at least, and our cities are mostly hideous. French cities are nearly all charming, and it is reasonable to believe that the tedious landscape north of Paris would actually be improved by urbanisation.

It is one of the oddities of modern history that London defeated Paris and saddled itself with that modern folie de grandeur, the Olympic Games. But it means Mr Sarkozy can contemplate rebuilding Paris for the ages; London is rebuilding for 16 days.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:13 PM   #2032
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
An interesting article in the Financial Times today. The author explains why Sarkozy’s ambitious plans for Paris could never be replicated for London. Aside from a typical cliché ("Napoleon") and the factually wrong statement that Sarkozy is particularly interested in the idea of extending Paris to the Channel (wrong, it's just the project from one team out of the 10 architect teams that took part in the contest, and Paris will not physically expand to the Channel, it's just that a TGV high-speed line will be built between Paris and Le Havre), the article otherwise offers an interesting comparison between both countries and both metropolises.
I don't understand why english press has this behavior...
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 12:22 PM   #2033
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car justement, c'est un point de vue anglo-saxon
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #2034
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Northeastern Paris redevelopment area.

Nowaday this area is a industrial wastle land in the edge of the 18th and 19th arrondissements between the Peripherique beltway and the track of Gare de l'Est.

Some high-rises could be built in the western hedge of this area in Porte de la Chapelle

















http://www.paris.fr/portail/Urbanism..._id=6894&pop=0
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Old May 15th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #2035
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Some of these projects are breathtaking. Realistically how many will be built?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 09:50 PM   #2036
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Some pics of the project "Pont d'Issy", a 150m and a 200m high towers to be built west of Paris:


image hosted on flickr




image hosted on flickr




image hosted on flickr




image hosted on flickr
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Old May 19th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #2037
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200m !!! I through that the tallest tower was 150m tall, I also see 170m but I was far to the 200m.
So it is actually the tallest tower planned outside la Defense followed by the 180m Tour Unibail in Porte de Versailles.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #2038
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I like those...
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:55 PM   #2039
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Praetorium, La Défense

May 25th :







May 18th :

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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #2040
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CNIT renovation

May 25th :







May 18th :







http://www.defense-92.com/cnitlesphotos.html
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