Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's plan is motivated by her desire to make the arrondissements more equal in terms the size of the population they serve or in her words allow a “better democratic representation”.
“There are 15 times more inhabitants in the 15th arrondissment than the first,” said Hidalgo's deputy Bruno Julliard when the change was first announced in 2016.
Paris arrondissements. Photo: Mairie de Paris
The new name of the four arrondissements which make up the centre of the city was voted for by those living in them, with a total of 8,561 people taking part.
The residents were given the option of Premiers arrondissements de Paris (First arrondissements of Paris), Cœur de Paris (Heart of Paris) and Paris 1 2 3 4, as well as the winning name… Paris Centre.
The town hall of the French capital's third arrondissement will represent the newly united district. Photo: AFP
Residents also voted on which town hall should represent the newly united district, with the 3rd arrondissement's town hall (see above) winning with 50.49 percent of the vote against the 4th arrondissement's current mairie, according to Hidalgo who announced the result's of the vote on Tuesday.
The new administrative map will allow “the unification of political representation and the administrative organization of the least populated arrondissements”, the Town Hall has previously argued, adding that just one mayor would be responsible for the merged areas.
Even if the first four arrondissements are grouped together for administrative reasons, the city's postcodes will not change. In other words Paris will continue to have 20 arrondissements.
However it will only have 17 mayors.
Of the 66,800 people registered to vote in the four arrondissements, 20 percent turned out to vote.
Hidalgo's plan originally faced stiff opposition from the right, who believe the plan to merge four arrondissements is simply politically motivated to ensure the Socialists hold on to power.