April 30, 2009

The future of Paris

Via BBC arts correspondent Razia Iqbal, the news item that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has unveiled an exhibition on possible make-overs for his capital, Paris, at the Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine.

Every French president is morally obliged to saddle France, and Paris in particular, with a grand monument as their personal presidential legacy.
Previous grand projects include the Arch de la Defense and the Louvre Museum Pyramid (both of which are vaut le voyage)
You can check out the various proposals here (click on the gallery photos).

My favourite among the amazingly whimsical stuff is the project pictured left, which envisages expanding Paris along the Seine River all the way to Le Havre and the sea.
What exactly will be contained in that endless Left Bank and Right Bank is a bit unclear to me. I sure hope it won't be endless banlieues.
If it will enable people to live, work, relax and enjoy a bit more space than in the current arrondissements, that would be brilliant.
It could even lift Paris in the Quality of Life survey rankings, but for me it already ranks in the top 10 cities I wouldn't refuse to live in.

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