London, Sept 9 : French President Nicolas Sarkozy is planning to turn the suburbs of Paris to make it look more like Croydon.
The project could see a new generation of high rise buildings linked by an orbital railway in the city's suburbs in a bid to encourage the middle classes to move out of the centre of the French capital and to allow ordinary working people to move in.
British architects have now been invited to submit their plans for hundreds of new buildings.
Sarkozy is impressed by high-rise flats and shopping malls in the drab South London town.
"He is impressed by buildings like Croydon's Whitgift Centre and NLA Tower, which give a sense of focus and cohesion to the urban environment," The Sun quoted Sarkozy's spokesman, as saying.
"Structures like these could make our suburbs more appealing and functional and take the pressure off central Paris," the rep added.
Many of Paris's sprawling suburbs are currently run-down ghettos where locals often battle cops. Middle classes shun them for the centre of the city.