Reinventing Paris? Yes, if You Save Paris

November 11, 2014 Updated: June 24, 2015

PARIS—A world premiere. It was on Nov. 3 at the Pavillon of Arsenal: Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, announced the official opening of the call for innovative urban ideas to feed the project “Reinventing Paris” (Réinventer Paris), available on the website

Before an audience of architects, promoters, and entrepreneurs, the mayor of Paris, accompanied by her deputy of urban planning, Jean-Louis Missika, presented the outline of the project whose leading idea is innovation. “A city such as Paris must be able to reinvent itself at any time to meet any possible challenge. In terms of habitation for instance, and in all matters that affect the density, diversity, energy, or resilience, it should now find new collective ways of working, that will shape the metropolis of the future,” announced Anne Hidalgo.

Innovation at the Heart of the Project 

Innovation, “which is to do better and differently”, will thus be at the heart of the project that will welcome the application of “everyone who contributes to making the city,” said the Paris’ mayor. 

For this, 23 Parisian sites are being offered to candidates who innovate both in the design of the project (which includes the participation of the residents), as well as in the architecture, including the use of innovative materials and construction methods.

Environmental challenges are of course to be met, while considering the social aspect of the innovations, Jean-Louis Missika explains in his introduction to the website. “The rapidly changing urban lifestyles call to innovate in ways of living, by creating spaces of shared conviviality; in the ways of working, through coworking, teleworking, shared showrooms, fab labs, and ephemeral stores,” he said.

Diverse and Original Sites

Spread over 9 districts, on a global surface of 150,000 m², 23 sites were selected on merit of presenting each of the specifics: bare land (13th, 19th  district), the luxurious Massena train station (13th district), Brownfields (17th, 19th), but also the charm of the mansion houses from diverse periods (4th, 5th, 17th,…), or the Morland building, historical headquarters of the Prefecture of Paris in district 4.   

This desire of urban modernization appeared several days before the next Council of Paris.  They will decide whether or not to abandon the highly criticized project of the Triangle Tower, a 180m high glass building which supposed to house offices in the Parc of Expositions at the ‘Porte de Versailles’. The building of that tower has been denounced by the opposition parties, by many Parisian associations for heritage preservation, and by 64% of the Parisian residents. They want to protect the image of the “Paris rooftops” (zinc roofs), and the Haussmann architecture, which seems to define and harmonize the heights of the buildings in the city.

Read the original French article here.