“We have to think big”, said President Sarkozy on 30 April 2009 at the opening of the exhibition at the Palais de Chaillot, where ten of thirty-seven future models for the re-design of Paris are on display.
Paris is divided by an urban motorway which was built around the centre in 1973. This ‘boulevard périphérique’ diverts the traffic around and into the city and it regularly grinds to a halt, in spite of having up to eight lanes in each direction. Today it is one of Europe’s busiest roads.
Necessity is now going to be turned into sustainable development. Accordingly at the opening of the ‘Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine’ at the Palais de Chaillot in the autumn of 2007 the French president called for a “diagnosis of the urban landscape and visions for the coming twenty to forty years”, inviting forty-three working groups of architects and town planners to submit ideas for a competition. The results are to be seen in this exhibition.