An urban heaven... In 2007 President Sarkozy set up a commission to identify and select 10 architects to head up multi-disciplinary teams, including in some cases geographers, transportation engineers, social scientists, and even philosophers. The President’s charge was simple: dream up bold visions for transforming Paris into a model “Post-Kyoto Metropolis of the 21st Century.” It takes courage and vision to transform urban spaces on a large scale and the challenge lies in transformation, adaptation, innovation while preserving the existing city and allowing a symbiosis between the old and the new.
Images of Paris represent an urban ideal – a jewel in the history of city-making. A network of broad avenues designed by Baron Haussmann in the 19th century connects civic monuments and beautifully shaped public spaces. This network is overlaid on a rich urban fabric that has evolved over 2000-plus years along the River Seine. Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are connected to an extensive metro system servicing the city’s 20 districts located within the inner city’s boundaries. The new projects will create an even more unique space for people to live, work and visit.
An interesting exhibition is dedicated to the results of President's challenge at the Cité de l'architecture until November 2009: Le Grand Pari(s)