After the Pompidou, can Rogers transform the secret, shabby, divided side of Paris?
An article in the Guardian about Greater Paris.
the Greater Paris project to reunite Paris’s centre with its neglected outskirts is steeped in controversy as local and national politicians fight over its boundaries, budget, population and new identity before the architectural debate has begun.
Funnily enough, I’m reading The Future Of London, a 1960 Pelican covering the progress (and failure) of the three great post World War II plans for the London area, and it’s had to spend a chapter or three defining what London even is.
It turns out that the current Greater London is a compromise between sticking with the pre-1960s London County Council (which seems absurdly small to the sensibilities of someone who’s always known a city that, basically, fills the M25) and expanding it further, to take in the parts of the south-east of England that London dominates culturally and economically, which expands for a good 60 miles or more from the city centre (and takes in towns such as Haverhill, which took “London overspill” in the 1960s).
That final compromise now seems natural, but I’m sure it didn’t seem that way in the 1960s (just as it’s evident that drawing the lines for Paris is proving difficult, especially given how long-standing the boundaries of the current city are).
In an exclusive preview of their strategy, Richard Rogers’s group told the Guardian yesterday that the biggest challenge was Paris’s “enormous disparity” and the “staggering psychological barrier” between the core of the city and the world beyond the ring-road.