Greg Vann tweets this update on the Paris civic election:
Placemaking in Paris: How Politics Changed the Parisian Landscape
During Mayor Bernard Delanoë’s 13 years in City Hall, many streets were redesigned to add dedicated bus lanes. More than 400 miles of bicycle lanes were created. Since 2002 the banks of the Seine have been closed to traffic each summer and 5,000 tons of sand have been used to create a beach in the middle of the city, complete with parasols and other sea-side amenities.
In 2006 a major new tramway line was opened. In 2007 the city introduced a bikeshare program, Velib, that today has a quarter of a million subscribers and accounts for 100,000 trips a day on average. 20 mile per hour zones were created in many residential neighborhoods and new “shared spaces” were introduced in certain streets.
In 2013 the city permanently decommissioned a highway segment to create a promenade along the Seine and unveiled the redesign of Paris’s largest square, Place de la République, now largely reserved for pedestrians.
THERE IS NO GOING BACK
The two major candidates to replace Delanoë come from very different places on the political spectrum, but neither is prepared to break with his policies regarding the quality of urban life.
Anne Hidalgo, the current Deputy Mayor who is leading in the polls to replace Delanoë, has a program in line with the accomplishments of her political mentor. She intends to continue to promote different ways of getting around, including a scootershare program and a massive increase in parking spaces for bikes. She wants to continue to increase the proportion of public space dedicated to pedestrians. …
What is more surprising is that the main Conservative candidate, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who is ideologically vehemently opposed to Hidalgo on many issues, is largely in accord with the previous administration when it comes to matters of urban space. …
What this year’s electoral contest has revealed is that high quality urban places and an urban experience that favors pedestrians and diverse forms of non-motor transportation have become an electoral expectation in Paris.
And in Vancouver? Read more »