Greater Paris Publication date : September 16, 2015
Christian Blanc is a well-known French politician and former civil servant. He is recognised for his role in establishing a peace settlement in New Caledonia. He has also served as C.E.O. of several major French companies, including the RATP (Paris transport system) and Air France. He created ‘L’Ami public’, a think tank that focuses on reforming the State and modernising society. He is the author of the highly successful La Croissance ou le chaos (Editions Odile Jacob).
In today’s world, economic power is linked to the influence of megacities which are capable of attracting people, knowledge, goods and capital. New York, London, Tokyo and Paris dominate exchanges throughout the planet, but Paris is the weakest of the four.
So Paris faces a pressing choice: either to become a museum-city or an innovative, attractive, living city.
The current ‘Greater Paris’ project, which aims to extend the city limits, has opted for the latter choice. Its goal is to strengthen those sectors that drive the economy and to inject life into largely underdeveloped peripheral areas (Charles-de-Gaulle and Le Bourget airports, La Plaine Saint-Denis). The project not only targets the economy: it aspires to keep the city on the international stage and to preserve French savoir-faire and savoir-vivre.
Christian Blanc argues here that the Greater Paris project will enable the city to prepare for the future and to put France back on a dynamic track. He recalls his past experiences and describes how he envisages a more optimistic future for France.
• Christian Blanc, a major player in French political and economic life, has a thorough grasp of the Greater Paris project.
• A fresh look at the new economy and the challenges facing Paris and France in the coming years.
• Proposals to enhance the appeal of Paris and to put France back on the international stage.