High-Rise Proposals Spur Outrage In Paris

Officials in Paris plan to unveil sketches of high-rise developments proposed for the outer rings of the city -- a development type nearly two-thirds of Parisians oppose. Many argue that the aesthetic focus shortchanges social concerns in the city.
November 13, 2007, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"Two years after riots swept through the tower blocks of the Paris suburbs, mayor Bertrand Delanoe will unveil on Wednesday artists' impressions of skyscrapers planned for three areas within the capital's ringroad. 'The drawings are just sketches. None of the plans will actually come to fruition,' claimed Socialist city planning councillor Jean-Pierre Caffet, in response to a survey in which 63 per cent of Parisians said they were opposed to high-rises."

"But opposition politicians, led by Francoise de Panafieu who will challenge the Socialist Delanoe in elections in March, claim the authorities want to 'trick' Parisians by floating the idea and hoping it gains ground. Even the Greens, who are the Socialists' allies in power, are unhappy. Rene Dutrey, head of the Green group at the Council of Paris, said: 'I do not understand the approach. The city hall has shown us drawings and asked us whether we find the blocks beautiful. Before you choose packaging, you have to decide on content. Parisians need social housing and green spaces, not commercial centres near roads.'"

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Published on Monday, November 12, 2007 in The Guardian
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