Grand Paris Métropole Douce

Paris, France
2008
 

Vision

Grand Paris Métropole Douce is a vision for the development of the metropolitan region of Paris as well as a model for a prosperous and ecologically balanced metropolis for the 21st century.

In 2008, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy initiated an international consultation, Le Grand Pari(s), where ten multidisciplinary teams were asked to imagine the transformation of Greater Paris into a pioneering urban landscape evolving in accord with the demands of the Kyoto Protocol. LIN worked together with experts in urban planning, urban theory and history, philosophy, architecture, ecology, climate change, mobility, and culture in a distributed temporary laboratory, collaborating with research institutes at MIT, the Oldenburg University and the TU Berlin.

Grand Paris Métropole Douce takes an optimistic position: urban change does not only happen – driven by complex systems and structures – it can also be tackled, discussed, influenced, re-directed… It is an attempt to think about the urban phenomenon in all its dimensions at the same time: social, economical, ecological, cultural... It is not a finished project: it defines a multitude of steps, a transformation process for the upcoming decades.

Territory

Grand Paris Métropole Douce is an investigation on an immense scale, examining a vast territory (2,700 km²), heterogeneous yet continuous. The aim is to develop Paris together with its endless and homogeneous surrounding - the so-called banlieue. The project entails looking at the metropolis as a whole: at its structural underpinnings and its polarities as well as the diffuse networks that operate on it. It is about finding ways to affect change within a fundamentally complex and uncertain environment.

Model

The extreme polarization of Paris’s metropolitan area at its core has led to a situation of crisis. Paris covers an area of 105 km² with a population of 2.2 million people (210 people/Ha). The banlieue covers a surface of 2600 km² with a population of 7.4 million people (28 people/Ha). The tightly- networked core holds a concentration of economic, cultural and symbolic power. Beyond the centre, wide monofunctional carpets of single-family houses, industrial facilities or large social housing units are characterized by isolation, when not abandon. Grand Paris Métropole Douce stands for a new organic constellation: a model for Paris to develop from a mono-central city with dependent surroundings to a multi-polar metropolis where the centres exist not only in relation to one another but also with the uncertain textures they emerge from.

Transformation

Grand Paris Métropole Douce is not about starting from scratch but about working within and transforming existing structures. What is to be found in the metropolitan region of Paris is not homogeneous: buildings (dense blocks, freestanding single-family homes, modernist slabs, industrial halls, infrastructural boxes…); surfaces (streets, asphalted plazas, expansive mass housing parking…); nature (rivers, forests, micro suburban gardens…). Transformation strategies should adapt to the specific qualities of each found situation, without preconception.

Conditions

Grand Paris Métropole Douce proposes a system of alternate urban conditions and graduated intensities: the Ville Dense and the Ville Légère. New dynamics are introduced within existing urban structures, revealing their respective potential.

The Ville Dense represents the stable entities in an ever-changing landscape: historical landmarks or production sites, complex and diverse platforms that offer an expansive array of culture and services, green areas such as parks and forests. Their programmatic and typological intensification allows new centralities – independent from their localization – to grow beyond the centre throughout the whole territory.

The Ville Légère mainly consists in wide carpets of freestanding housing, industrial facilities, and large social housing units, all today hardly accessible without a car. With its low density, flexibility, and simple, unprotected landscape, it possesses its own particular qualities, the first the capacity to maintain coherence among the dislocated fragments of the agglomeration. Its transformation into a more diverse, adaptable, self-sufficient milieu makes it a potentially nourishing layer for the metropolis.

Mobility

Mobility is one of the keys to the transformation of the metropolitan region of Paris into a resilient, ecologically balanced, urban landscape. With its distributed intensities, Grand Paris Métropole Douce requires a new model of gradual mobility, one that is fast, direct, and efficient. In low-density areas, which represent 80% of the surface of the metropolitan region, the introduction of micro-mobility together with the development of new retail, social and cultural microcenters (mobility on demand, services for seniors, child care, post, etc.) simultaneously provides new services and potentials for social interaction.

Landscapes

Grand Paris Métropole Douce reveals the presence of nature within the metropolitan region of Paris of Paris. There, the rivers (the Seine, Marne and Oise with a total length of 1200 km) have become invisible. Large forests are often inaccessible; landscape has often become specialized, the same way the city has. It must recapture its essential diversity: the more services a landscape can offer, the greater its ability to absorb the impacts of nature and society and to return to its desired state. As opposed to specialized landscapes, the multifunctional landscapes of Grand Paris Métropole Douce flexibly integrate residential functions, water retention solutions, food production, energy production and the preservation of biodiversity; along rivers: self-regeneration systems, new housing typologies in flood zones, zones for leisure, business, transportation…

Action

Grand Paris Métropole Douce questions operational change. The acceptance of new forms of urbanity calls for the invention of new modes of action. The traditional top-down approach is still often essential to guarantee the realization of structuring and emblematic projects. When operating on the most uncertain fields of the metropolis, bottom-up transformation may be more efficient: de-centralized initiatives and informal constellations, negotiating projects within local contexts.

Laboratory

Grand Paris Métropole Douce is a laboratory. The attempt is to imagine the urban phenomenon in all its dimensions – social, economic, ecological, and cultural: defining frameworks and creating efficient yet flexible solutions through interdisciplinary confrontation and new collaborative methods.

Representations

Grand Paris Métropole Douce is an investigation on representation(s). How do the local and the global articulate? How do spatial structures and moving processes interact? How do contradictory impulses merge into a single story? A shared vision will only be possible through shared representations. Grand Paris Métropole Douce develops new interactive and adaptable tools for urban situations in evolution. They help reveal potentials; they mediate change.

Project Data

Program

Grand Paris METROPOLE DOUCE is a vision for the development of the metropolitan region of Paris as well as a model of a prosperous and ecologically balanced metropolis for the 21st century. Ten multidisciplinary teams were asked to imagine the transformation of Greater Paris into a pioneering urban landscape evolving in accord with the demands of the Kyoto Protocol.

Client: French ministry of culture and communication in partnership with the French ministry of the environment

Status: 2008-09 (international consultation). Grand Paris International Workshop since 2010, in progress

Location: Paris, Ile de France

Surface: 2700 km²

 

Team (2008-09)

Urban Design: LIN Architects Urbanists, Finn Geipel (partner in charge), Giulia Andi, Ali Saad + Heiko Walth, Andrea Alessio, Marie-Elsa Batteaux, Nathanelle Baes Cantillon, Agnes Billemont, Julien Brunet, Alice Crumeyrolle, Laura Delaney, Steffen Hsgele, John Klepel, Jan-Oliver Kunze, Amir Matallaoui, Florian Matho, Elena Pavilidou-rReisig, Alicia Peris, Judith Stichtenoth, BERLIN; Philosophy: Joseph Hanimann, Paris Urban strategy: Initial Design IND - Wilhelm Klauser, Berlin Urban theory: Kaye GEIPEL, Berlin Climate engineering: Matthias Schuler - Harvard University, Boston Mobility: Fabio Casiroli – SYSTEMATICA, Milano Micro-mobility: William J. Mitchell (†) - MIT Design Laboratory, Boston Ecology: Michael KLEYER - Landscape Ecology Group, UNIVERSITÄT Oldenburg, Oldenburg Philosophy 2: LILIANA ALBERTAZZI and François JULLIEN, Paris  Urban history: Johannes Cramer  - Chair for History of Architecture and Urban Design, TU Berlin, Berlin New typologies: LIA-TU Berlin - Finn Geipel, Vesta Nele Zareh, Richard Woditsch,   Giulia Beretta, Yoann Fievet, Sonke Hartmann, Iris Lacourde, David Malaud, Tristan Zelic New typologies 2: MIT, design studio, Boston - Finn Geipel, Mark Watabe, Lara Davis, Najiyahedun, Rafael Luna, Joe Michael, Michelle Petersen, John Pugh, Alice Rosenberg, Laura Rushfeldt; Information design: Andreas Schneider, Institute for Information Design IIDJ, Tokyo Urban communication: Integral RUEDI BAUR, Paris, Zurich Media: Jean Michel Place, Paris Visualisation: Davidde Abbonacci, Berlin Interactive model: Werk 5, Berlin Interactive animation: Anjin Anhut, Berlin

 

Team 2

2009-

Urban Design: LIN Architects Urbanists, Finn Geipel, David Levain, Fabienne Boudon, Lou Bellegarde, Andrea Alessio,  Agnes Billemont, Marie-Charlotte Dalin, John Klepel, Thibaut Pierro.  Research: Vesta Nele Zareh - LIA TU Berlin Philosophy: Joseph Hanimann, Paris; Urban strategy: Initial Design IND - Wilhelm Klauser, Berlin; Climate engineering: Matthias Schuler - Harvard University, Boston; Mobility: Fabio Casiroli - Systematica, Milano; Ecology: Michael Kleyer, - Landscape Ecology Group, Universität Oldenburg, Oldenburg; River ecology: Stephan Pflugmacher Lima, Berlin; Geographical economy: Oliver Ibert – IRS, Berlin; Regional development: Reimar Molitor, Cologne; Communication: Blotto Design, Berlin.

Vision
 PAM-01-ESS-LIN-grand_paris_perspective, Davide Abbonacci
Image 1/11 PAM-01-ESS-LIN-grand_paris_perspective, Davide Abbonacci
Territory
PAM-02-ESS-LIN-aerial poles sketch
Image 2/11 PAM-02-ESS-LIN-aerial poles sketch
Model
 PAM-03-ESS-LIN-section_centralities
Image 3/11 PAM-03-ESS-LIN-section_centralities
Transformation
 PAM-04-ESS-LIN-transformation
Image 4/11 PAM-04-ESS-LIN-transformation
Conditions
PAM-05-ESS-LIN-Transformation and densification of an existing centre
Image 5/11 PAM-05-ESS-LIN-Transformation and densification of an existing centre
Mobility
PAM-06-ESS-LIN-micromobility
Image 6/11 PAM-06-ESS-LIN-micromobility
Landscapes
PAM-07-ESS-LIN-perspective
Image 7/11 PAM-07-ESS-LIN-perspective
Action
 PAM-08-ESS-LIN-plan de travail sketch
Image 8/11 PAM-08-ESS-LIN-plan de travail sketch
Laboratory
 PAM-09-ESS-LIN-workshop
Image 9/11 PAM-09-ESS-LIN-workshop
Representations
PAM-10-ESS-LIN-exhibition at Kulturforum, Berlin, 2011
Image 10/11 PAM-10-ESS-LIN-exhibition at Kulturforum, Berlin, 2011
 PAM-11-ESS-LIN-representation
Image 11/11 PAM-11-ESS-LIN-representation
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