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LIFE IN PARIS

Could the French capital city’s most neglected area really become ‘the new face of Paris’?

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is kicking off her reelection campaign with the promise of a makeover for one of Paris' most notoriously shabby areas.

Could the French capital city's most neglected area really become 'the new face of Paris'?
Photo: AFP

Plans have been unveiled for a transformation of La Chapelle, a notoriously worn-down part of Paris that was recently describes as “forgotten by the world” by the capital’s main newspaper Le Parisien.

The plans were revealed by Paris en Commun, a cross-party support group for Hidalgo, on Twitter on Monday morning.

 

Situated in the far north of the capital, in the eastern part of the 18th arrondissement, La Chapelle is infamous for its worn-down look and crumbling infrastructure.

READ ALSO Inside the sprawling migrant camps at the gates of Paris

A long-time overcrowding of the local refugee shelter at Porte de la Chapelle had about 1,600 migrants setting up a camp in the area.

After clearing the camp last year, local police reinforced security in the area, but local groups say that now around 2,500 people are sleeping rough there – more than before the clear-out. 

 

With her “unique and experimental initiative,” Hidalgo is going for a different approach, aiming to profoundly transform the whole area.

“In a short term perspective I want this new district to become the new Paris,” she told Le Parisien.

Anne Hidalgo chose to start her reelection campaign in the capital's most tired area. Photo: AFP

So what is the Mayor proposing exactly?

For one, two of the areas main roads will be made accessible for pedestrians and cyclists, with new bike lanes and a generous amount of trees and plants.

The tweet below shows a before and after-image of one of the streets in question:

 

Secondly, the Mayor's office is looking at plans to create a big square in front of the Arena, one of the locations where the Paris Summer Olympics for 2025 will take place.

There is also talk of an “elevated, green bridge.”

However Mayor said that “none of this has been voted on,” and that all plans would have to pass through the Parisian City Council for approval.

Member comments

  1. If this is the extent of her plans, it does not amount to much. No solution to the actual issues in the neighbourhood, just a creeping gentrification that will push the problems out to other parts of the city.

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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