Adapting public space for people with disabilities, modernising urban lighting to reduce its ecological footprint, installing reflective strips along bike lanes to make bikes easier to see at night, making the Petite Ceinture more accessible and capping more parts of the ring road - these are some of 30 recommendations made by a citizens' assembly on climate-friendly urban development in Paris, presented on 10 November 2020.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had created the citizens' assembly in order to equip the French capital with a climate-friendly urban development plan with its help. This lengthy process was launched in September 2020 and is expected to be completed by 2024. The plan is to add an important piece to the Paris climate protection rule puzzle with the "local climate urban development plan".
The administration had initiated a broad-based citizens consultation to revise the current PLU development plan, which dates back to 2006. To this end, it had convened a citizens' assembly modelled on the national climate assembly "Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat", which presented its findings on 21 June 2020. 100 Parisians (men and women in equal numbers) were randomly selected. They had participated in three meetings from 27 September to 18 October 2020. The mayors of the boroughs, the neighbourhood councils, the mayors of the metropolitan region and associations were also invited to give their opinions.
Five topics selected
Five themes were selected for the citizens' assembly: a healthier and less polluted environment in a more resilient city adapted to climate change, a city of solidarity within the metropolis, new heritage issues, a circular system for construction and sustainable economic development (trade, tourism, logistics).
In the current development plan, environmental protection is limited to the creation of areas for natural and forest and public green spaces, the use of protected green spaces and open space regulations. "The current development plan is only a partial answer to the fight against global warming," the administration admits. The same applies to the fight against the multiplication of flat rentals to the detriment of the housing situation of city dwellers and to the development of communal and alternative forms of housing.
Curbing soil sealing
The municipality also intends to curb soil sealing. "For every square metre that is built on, we have to find a square metre to unseal, according to the principle of strict compensation," says Emmanuel Grégoire, deputy mayor in charge of urban planning. Since metropolitan France, along with the French coast, is one of the areas most affected by sealing, the city council will have no choice but to promote the reuse of existing buildings and increase construction efficiency. These provisions should be enforced against developers.
The revision of the development plan is a path riddled with pitfalls. Until the planned completion before the 2024 Olympic Games, the city council would have to say "yes" to the individual steps four times.
More Information: Plan local d'urbanisme