New French president - new hope for Rogers' Grand Paris plans
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) believes the change of Government in France will boost its chances of working on the overhaul of Paris.
The practice unveiled its ‘Grand Paris’ vision for 2030 to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy three years ago.
RSHP associate Stephen Barrett told the AJ this week he was confident that the election of Francoise Hollande would reinvigorate the original plan.
‘There is an overwhelming political consensus in Paris that the Grand Paris exercise was essential,’ he said. ‘But by some it was perceived as a political Trojan horse to allow greater state involvement in urban politics.
‘Now the region, city and state governments are all of the same political persuasion that is likely to facilitate the project.’
With just two million of the nine million Parisians living in the city’s centre, RSHP proposed dramatic measures to integrate the suburbs.
Its Grand Paris vision included building over the railway lines that split up large tracts of the city (see AJ 19.03.2009).
Barrett said Grand Paris had been ‘boiled down to a transport project for the Metro system’ but that more schemes were likely to flow from it now.
‘It was always intended to be a number of projects,’ he added. ‘I suspect there will be more projects like Bercy-Charenton and reinvestment in the poorer suburbs of the north and east.
‘All the information we have is that there will be an acceleration of infrastructure work, whether that be as Grand Paris or under another name.
‘I think our involvement in Grand Paris and now in Bercy-Charenton has put us in a very good position for further work.’