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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Past, present, future: proactive urban planning in Paris Region

For several centuries Paris Region has been planned according to principles we would now recognise as those of sustainable development: this dense, multi-functional urban complex constitutes an autonomous, integrated living environment that is envied all over the world.

Baron Haussmann’s 19th-century projects have left a strong imprint on the city, while in the first half of the 20th century the metropolis grew further, expanding into the surrounding suburban areas.

Various regeneration schemes followed: on the Seine riverside, in the central district of Les Halles, and in the Rive Gauche district – with the regeneration of Batignolles soon to follow. These new districts have become vibrant urban centres at the heart of the metropolis, incorporating residential accommodation, businesses, parks and public amenities. The city has continued to expand around its periphery with the creation of five new towns since 1950, which have developed into major urban hubs (Evry, Cergy, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Sénart and Marne-la-Vallée).

The people of Paris Region see the environment as a vital issue for their future. Eco-friendly practices and green initiatives are becoming increasingly widespread. As a result, businesses connected with this sector are experiencing dynamic growth. This sector accounted for sales of €17 billion in Paris Region in 2007, i.e. 47% of the French total and 2.4% of the European total. The main global leaders in these fields – groups such as Veolia, Suez Environnement, etc. – work in collaboration with a network of highly innovative SMEs.

© SEM Plaine Commune Développement

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