Paris adopts 20-year development blueprint

13th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 13, 2006 (AFP) - Paris municipal councillors late Monday adopted a Socialist blueprint for the city's future, despite a rebellion from Green party allies against the 20-year development plans.

PARIS, June 13, 2006 (AFP) - Paris municipal councillors late Monday adopted a Socialist blueprint for the city's future, despite a rebellion from Green party allies against the 20-year development plans.

Drawn up after three years of consultations, mayor Bertrand Delanoë's "Plan Local d'Urbanisme" (PLU) will shape Paris development to 2020 and beyond, with the aim of curbing the steady exodus of inhabitants and jobs to the suburbs.

Voting was tight, with 70 for, 55 against and 33 abstentions including the Greens.

Under a new zoning system, offices and other economic units will be encouraged in the heavily-populated east of the city, while cheap housing is pushed in the more affluent west. Developers will be required to include 25 percent of social accommodation in projects over a certain size.

However the Green party bloc, which has 22 members, abstained in the vote on the PLU, saying it should be rebalanced to give greater priority to social housing. Rocketing house prices in the capital mean there is today a waiting-list of 100,000 for subsidised council flats.

"The PLU should be a tool to fight against the devastating effects of property speculation, but as it stands it will make the market the sole arbiter," said Green councillor Rene Dutrey.

The 11-member communist group also wants more subsidised flats, but unlike the Greens believes the best way is to break the taboo which since the 1970s has blocked the construction of buildings over 37 metres in height.

However in an informal poll conducted by the city hall in 2003 more than 60 percent of Parisians said they did not want to end the high-rise ban, which will remain in place.

Stung by the city's failure last year to win the bid for the 2012 Olympic games, Delanoë said Sunday he hoped the PLU would create "a city of heritage but also a dynamic modern city of the 21st century, an international city, a competitive city."

The population of Paris proper has been falling at around one percent a year and today stands at around two million, compared to 11 million for the overall agglomeration.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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