A European Model for Suburban Retrofitting

Kaid Benfield revisits the results of a plan to revitalize the town center of Plessis-Robinson, a suburb of Paris, with the suggestion that its success could inform similar efforts in the United States.

Begun in 1990, the revitalization of Plessis-Robinson consists of public buildings, retail, market-rate and subsidized affordable housing, parks, schools, gardens, sports facilities, and a hospital under the vision of creating "a highly walkable environment, while using locally sourced materials as much as possible, and preserving wetland habitat."

Completed after a decade of construction, the project was named "the best urban neighborhood built in the last 25 years" by the European Architecture Foundation. Benfield links to a video showing the town's progress and suggests that, "American suburban communities currently contemplating transformative updates, such as Dublin, Ohio, parts of Prince George's County, Maryland, and parts of Silicon Valley in California might do well to take note."

Full Story: Can US communities learn from this European suburban retrofit?

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95