Architects reveal plans for 'bigger and greener' Paris

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London, Mar 13 (ANI): Plans for a bigger and greener Paris, in La Courneuve, has been revealed by ten of the world's leading architects.

The plans for a Grand Paris has been described as the most complex city project ever, and French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has asked architects to project 20 years into the future and dream up the world's most sustainable post-Kyoto metropolis.

Antoine Grumbach has proposed to extend the city all the way to the Channel port of Le Havre via Rouen along the Seine, maximising the green possibilities of the river, a plan already thought up by Napoleon Bonaparte, who had said: "Paris-Rouen-Le Havre: one single city with the Seine as its main road."

Christophe de Portzamparc, the prize-winning French architect, has proposed building four economic "buds" in an "archipelago" around the capital and transferring a huge European train station to Aubervilliers, north of Paris, modelled on London's St Pancras.

Roland Castro, the prominent 1968 Leftist who suggested moving the Elysee Palace to the tough northeastern suburbs, has proposed injecting "beauty" into a "Grand Paris of poets", which would include new cultural landmarks in a capital shaped like a huge eight-petal flower and with a New York-style Central Park on the grim housing project of La Courneuve.

The Italian architects Bernardo Secchi and Paola Vigano have proposed enlarging the city and laying it out as a "porous sponge", where waterways are given pride of place.

Yves Liot would like to create 20 "sustainable towns" of 500,000 within the Paris area. He would also double the number of forests and bring fields to Paris' outskirts so the urban dwellers could cultivate their own fruit and vegetables.

One crucial aim is to end the isolation of central Paris, with its two million inhabitants, which is currently cut off from the six million living in suburbs just outside its ring road, known as "le peripherique".

"I know no other big city where the heart is so detached from its arms and legs," the Telegraph quoted Britain's Richard Rogers, a London-based co-designer of the Pompidou centre, as saying.

His team, working with the London School of Economics and French sociologists, has proposed uniting cut-off communities, notably by covering up railway lines that dissect the city and placing huge green spaces and networks above them.

One such green line would stretch all the way from central Paris to the run-down southeastern outskirts, mirroring the line from the Louvre to La Defense to the west of the city.

Paris would be stuffed with renewable technologies and re-thought to reduce city dweller's travelling time to no more than 30 minutes per day.

His project aims to end the "monoculture" of Paris' suburbs by overhauling high-immigrant enclaves like Clichy-sous-Bois, where urban riots erupted in 2005.

Office and living space would be mixed with rich and poor and high-speed train lines extended.

Rogers and the other architects were given just 35 minutes to explain their strategies for Grand Paris 2030 to a panel of experts. (ANI)

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