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9 Paris city projects making headlines in 2019
What’s happening this new year in the capital? From traffic restrictions, to a report on the security of Parisians, to the reopening of the musée de la Libération, le parisien.fr has highlighted some of the major city projects expected in the capital throughout the 2019 year.
January: submission of the study on free transport
This topical debate hinges on the purchasing power of the French people. In 2018, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, entrusted three of her deputies to prepare a study on the possibility of free transport. “This will involve analysis of examples in France and abroad, and in particular an evaluation on the existence of a viable economic model: nothing so far demonstrates that this is possible,” she explained during the announcement of the project last year.
The study should thus be presented in the upcoming days of the beginning of this new year. It will specify the advantages, costs, and any inconveniences of several proposed free transport options. Since last year, people aged 65 years and older (depending on income) could already benefit from a free Navigo pass. According to the first excerpts given at the Conseil de Paris, as proposed by communist-elected representatives, free transport could be extended to children 10 years and younger, and adolescents and students could receive a 50% reimbursement on their carte Imagin’R. This first measure would cost the City of Paris 5 million euros per year, while the second would cost some 20 million.
End of January: 100,000 social dwellings built since 2001
This is one of city council’s flagship projects. Social housing continues to multiply in the capital and at the end of the month of January, the symbolic number of 100,000 social dwellings financed since 2001 will most likely be attained.
Although numerous in the 18th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements, and on the Left Bank in the 13th and 15th arrondissements, Paris’ chic neighborhoods are seeing the emergence of social housing as well: in 2018, certain symbolic buildings of the 6th and 7th (rue du Cherche-Midi, or l’îlot Saint-Germain, boulevard Saint-Germain) began their transformation into rent-controlled housing. Since 2001, social housing supply has increased by 54% according to ADIL, l’Agence départementale pour l’information sur le logement (the Departmental Agency for Housing Information).
February: submission of the report on the safety of Parisians
Paris is the only city in France lacking a municipal police force. Although the brigade contre les incivilités does their part to maintain public order (tickets for littering, incorrect parking, public urination, etc.) numerous elected official are calling for the establishment of an armed municipal police force in Paris. The Mayor of Paris has said she is neither opposed to implementation nor to the fact that the officers will be armed, an issue she does not judge as “taboo”.
To advance the debate on the question, Anne Hidalgo announced the launch of an audit last summer, made possible in partnership with the Préfecture de Police, to examine most notably the distribution of skills between national police and the 3,200 security agents of Paris, the effectiveness of video surveillance, the needs of Parisians, and even the practices of major international metropolitan areas.
The audit will be submitted in February. It should determine whether Parisian security measures “are effective or could be perfected,” announced the Mayor, emphasizing: “I think that they could be perfected.”
February 7th: Second Nuit de la Solidarité parisienne
The inaugural edition of la Nuit de la Solidarité had first of all raised controversy. A census of the capital’s homeless people… what for? Several elected officials saw this as a campaign destined to trap the State, after the President of the Republic had announced his desire to see no more homeless people on the streets. In the end, however, 1,800 Parisian volunteers participated in the first-ever Nuit de la solidarité last year on February 15th, an operation revealing 2,952 people living on the streets in the middle of winter.
This year, on February 7th, City Hall will once again solicit volunteers to grid the capital, street by street, meeting those women and men who are beyond the reach of any sort of care. 45% declare to have never slept in a homeless shelter and 65% have never even dialed 115 for the SAMU social, a national assistance number for homeless people, according to l’Apur.
March: the inauguration of the Serres d’Auteuil in the 16th
Tennis fans, rejoice. This year, Roland-Garros will include a new court, Simonne-Mathieu, renovated in the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. With a capacity of 5,000 spectators, it will be surrounded by four, 6 meter tall greenhouses, creating a particularly unique spectator setting. These greenhouses classed as historical monuments, which were passionately defended by local residents, were indeed protected, and will remain accessible to the public during competition. As for the Philippe Cattier court, it is still under construction and will open in 2020.
July: les Crit’Air 4
On July 1st, after traffic regulations restricting vehicles with a Crit’Air 5 badge to circulate from Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 8 PM, it will now be the turn of those vehicles with a Crit’Air 4 badge to follow suit. In other words, all those with a diesel car matriculated before 2006, or a two-wheel motorcycle or moped matriculated before 2004, must leave their vehicle in the garage and find another way to get around restricted areas during work week daytime hours.
Paris is not the only place concerned by these restrictive measures since the Métropole du Grand Paris voted for the creation of “limited emission zones”. From July 1st onward, vehicles with a Crit’Air 5 badge will no longer be allowed to circulate, not only in Paris but also within the entire perimeter delineated by the A86. 79 communes will be affected.
August: Opening of the new musée de la Libération
The old musée de la Libération was not particularly in the best shape, accessible with difficulty and a bit lost above the gare Montparnasse since 1994. The City of Paris thus decided to give it a new home. On August 25th, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, the musée de la Liberation will be inaugurated a bit further south, at place Denfert-Rochereau in the 14th.
Two days later on August 27th, the new sister museum, la musée de Général Leclerc – musée Jean Moulin, will welcome visitors, installed in a historic site never before open to the public: les pavillons Ledoux, constructed in 1787 and classed as a historic monument.
Completely renovated, these buildings will offer visitors a chronological discovery of the history of World War Two. Around 7,000 objects, including a diverse selection of military objects and day-to-day tools, thousands of documents and photographs, and more than one hundred unique audiovisual testimonies, complete the collection.
Construction costs run at about 20 million euros, for the most part financed by the City of Paris (13 million euros). Before the grand opening, future visitors can follow the advancement of the construction site online. chantiermuseeliberation.paris.fr
December: reopening of the musée Galliera
This museum is one of the lesser-known treasures of the 16th. Closed in the fall for one year of construction and renovation, the musée Galliera, dedicated to fashion, with more than 200,000 collection pieces from the 18th century to present-day, will reopen in December 2019.
This small palace, situated in front of the Palais de Tokyo, will be reborn as a permanent fashion museum, the only one in France. Its exhibition area will be doubled, with the opening of vaulted cellars into galleries named after Gabrielle-Chanel.
A bit earlier in the year in September, the Théâtre du Châtelet (1st), another emblematic cultural institution of the capital, will reopen its doors as well.
December: a bicycle path from Bastille to Étoile
Crossing all of Paris from east to west and back again on a bike in a proper bike lane: what was once a cyclist’s pipe dream is coming to fruition at the end of this year. The construction of the continuous bike path linking Bastille to place de l’Étoile, via rue du Rivoli and place de la Concorde, will terminate in December.
Since December 20th of last year, a dedicated 4-meter wide lane has been available from Bastille to Châtelet, much to the delight of bike lovers. Once construction connecting Châtelet to Concorde finishes, a designated 6 km path will thus be formed. This “royal road” will pass in front of the Hôtel de Ville, the Louvre, and the Tuileries, climbing the most beautiful avenue in the world, le Champs-Elysées, until reaching its summit at the Arc de triomphe. The inauguration of the completed section will take place in December.
Cover photo: Pixabay