Architecture collective unveils an ambitious vision for the future of the city of light.
The streets are paved with greenery. Chic folk glide by on gondolas, bicycles and airships. A vertical farm scales the Pompidou; solar panels gleam on every roof; and wind turbines turn more gracefully than even the Moulin Rouge… This could be Paris in the year 2100, according to an “exhibition of the imagination” by architecture collective Et Alors.
The French capital has committed to a widespread transformation from the most congested city in Europe to the first post-oil capital of the 21st century. The Paris Climate Protection Plan, adopted in 2007, pledged to cut citywide greenhouse gases to 75% of 2004 levels by 2050.
Since then the municipal bicycle sharing scheme Vélib has replaced 1,000 car trips a day, and an electric car hire project hopes to further curb emissions [see ‘Paris hosts the world’s first municipal EV hire scheme’].
Wall gardens have bloomed in the city, with 174 planned and 90 more sites mooted. And, although airship commuting may be a long way off, the Ballon de Paris gives passengers an aerial view of the city while alerting residents below to real-time air pollution levels.
Joe Ravetz, co-director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology at the University of Manchester, says that while the exhibition images are entertaining and impressive, a thread of social realism could help to make them more powerful: “What’s happened to the massive flow of goods through the city? All the homeless people are out of sight.”
The Climate Protection Plan goes some way to addressing this concern, drawing on lessons learnt from the 2003 heat wave which proved fatal for some of the city’s most vulnerable inhabitants.
Measures include grants for the fuel poor, the drastic reduction of motor vehicles in the city during heat waves, shifting the burden of taxation to ‘eco’ taxes, and a register of the capital’s isolated and poorest residents to improve aid logistics.
Photo credit: mr berry / istock