Paris Set to Quadruple in Size
"Following a vote in Parliament earlier this month, the city of Paris looks set — after years and years of discussions — to join with its hinterland in 2016 and become part of a huge new urban authority, one with roughly three times its current population and four times its current land area," writes Feargus O’Sullivan. "Dubbed the 'Métropole du Grand Paris,' this new city authority will break down the rigid barrier between the city of Paris and what are referred to as its suburbs, despite their often being more densely populated than many American downtowns."
"The large area immediately surrounding Paris proper, known as the Petite Couronne ('Little Crown'), will now get its own power-wielding, tax-levying uber-council, or intercommunalité to give its long-winded French name. Managing housing, land use and the environment – and crucially deciding policy – it will help decentralize the city and help the départements toward more joined-up, strategic thinking."