Sunday, May 22

Paris: with its “new doctrine”, the municipality intends to better maintain its public space

With the publication of an important working document in 4 volumes called “Manifesto for the beauty of Paris”, the municipality intends to set up a new methodology for the development and maintenance of public space. The main lines of this project were unveiled on Tuesday, January 18.

An “approach initiated a long time ago”, explains Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy mayor of Paris in charge of town planning, who immediately denies responding here to the #SaccageParis movement launched more than a year ago on the social networks to denounce the incongruities and other pranks of Parisian urban planning.

Adapt the city to new challenges

For him, this new doctrine must above all make it possible to “reconcile the new challenges of transforming the city”, in particular “the necessary adaptation of the city to the phenomenon of global warming […] with all that makes the prestige and fame of Paris”. “We come to shake up decades, centuries of habit,” he explains.

And the whole issue is there: how to modify the city without removing a Davioud bench here or a Morris column there? How to reconcile preservation of existing heritage with a touch of modernity? “Obviously there will be Davioud benches dismantled when necessary”, assures the elected official.

To move in the same direction, whether it concerns the services of the Parisian administration, the City’s partners who intervene in the field or for the Parisians themselves, this document in 4 volumes – of which the first 3 are expected for March 2022 and the last of which, devoted to buildings and structures, will be released at the same time as the revision of the PLU planned for the coming months – should allow the municipality to give a guideline and precise rules to be respected in terms of development of public space.

A “public action charter”, according to Emmanuel Grégoire, to correct a certain number of “defects” – which he himself describes as “irritating” – which distort the city on a daily basis. Among them, for example, the “pig pond”, in his words, which is created at the foot of trees which have just been replanted and whose earth has not finished being packed, or even these lighting stands audiences wrapped in tape and tape as they wait to be repaired.

New rules to follow

For this, this new doctrine will be implemented around “5 projects”. Among them, “the inventory of historic street furniture”, which will be particularly accessible to the general public in an Atlas published by Apur next March, “the decluttering of public space with the removal of obsolete street furniture” or even “the greening of the city”, via the creation of “large green strips” to connect the planes of trees between them.

But also the removal this year of the yellow marking used on the ground to urgently create temporary cycle paths at the end of the first confinement. Emmanuel Grégoire ensures that 17 km of yellow cycle paths have already been made permanent, and that an additional 35 km will be in 2022. As for the 15 km of paths which will only be made permanent in 2023, he plans to remove the yellow signage this year .

Finally, the municipality intends “to continue its fight against incivility”, in particular by tripling the fines against wild posting, and to work with the new Paris prosecutor so that the complaints filed after the discovery of tags in the Parisian public space can succeed and not end up being “discarded”.

In addition, the question of Parisian sanisettes will also be studied, as the public market comes to an end. Announcements that complement certain measures already launched last July, including that of removing all road signs deemed obsolete or useless or that of removing the so-called “mushroom” seats deemed unsightly and little used.

Even if he admits that certain things need to be reviewed, in particular highlighted by the #SaccageParis movement, the first deputy calls for common sense and recalls that “many works that are vaunted today were once derided by the dictatorship of good taste” . “Today we praise Guimard, but at the time it caused a scandal, so let’s take a step back and show some restraint [dans nos critiques]. Paris must never renounce innovation,” he insists.

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