We’ll always have Paris (2) – and soon there may be more of it?

There is a very interesting interview in the Journal de Dimanche with Anne Hidalgo, first Deputy Mayor of Paris, Socialist candidate in the Paris Mayoral election later this year, and current favourite in the polls. In the interview (which is in French) Ms Hidalgo responds to questions about the proposals for a ‘Greater Paris’ which will create a metropolitan tier bringing together the City of Paris with its surrounding 124 communes and four departments on the 1st January 2016. Ms Hidalgo is clear that this is not about ‘annexation’ but rather about recognising the sense of Parisian identity that extends beyond the relatively narrow administrative boundaries of the City of Paris:  “Les habitants du Grand Paris se sont déjà approprié depuis longtemps le mot “Paris”. C’est une réalité. Maintenant, il ne s’agit pas d’annexer quelque territoire que ce soit, mais d’inventer ensemble, en respectant les communes et leur identité.” Moreover, Ms Hidalgo explicitly refers to some Anglo-Saxon rival world cities: “Il ne s’agit pas de faire le Grand Paris à l’image de Paris, mais plutôt de faire le Grand Paris à la même échelle que le Grand Londres ou New York.” She is also very careful to make clear that she does not envisage the City of Paris disappearing into the new metropolitan arrangement – and that she sees a continuing important role for the Mayors of Paris’s 20 arrondissements (boroughs). These issues – of efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and identity, and the potential trade-offs between them – are of course core to the study of metropolitan governance world-wide. It will be fascinating to see how a new system of multi-level governance for the Paris region works out in practice.

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One thought on “We’ll always have Paris (2) – and soon there may be more of it?

  1. Pingback: Greater Paris – one of France’s new metropolitan areas | UrbanPivot

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