Paris - Ile de France, France
"Let's reinvent the Grand Paris Metropolis" project brings together government, community and business to re-imagine the metropolitan area.
In 2016, the Grand Paris Metropolis, in partnership with the government and the public agency responsible for building the new automatic Metro, launched the “Let's reinvent the Grand Paris Metropolis” challenge open to all citizens in the associated municipalities and private sector companies (architects, designers, promoters, investors).
The challenge comprises two phases; Firstly, the municipal mayors identify public land and sites in need of transformation. Following visits to these sites and consultations with citizens, private sector companies submitted innovative projects for the sites’ economic, social and environmental transformation. In March 2017, 164 projects were selected out of the 420 submitted, focusing on 57 sites, 27 of which are around future Metro stations. These projects include more than 326 innovative start-ups, associations and SMEs. In total, 6.4 billion euros will be injected by the private sector companies acquiring the sites in the coming years.
This project was awarded the 'URBACT Good Practice Label' in 2017. Learn more about the award.
Background and objectives
The “Let's reinvent the Grand Paris Metropolis” call for projects that illustrate both the process and the purpose – reinventing the city differently – of the integrated sustainable urban development drive. The organisers have given the teams substantial freedom in terms of programming, the economic and social model for their project and the urban or architectural styles. To ensure an integrated approach for the projects, they must be led by groups offering a range of skills, with designers, promoters, developers, investors, companies and community groups or associations, in a bottom-up approach.
The following objectives are to be included in the project :
- Involving the projects in the search for an innovative, sustainable, united and intelligent metropolis with a view to sustainable urban development;
- Devising projects within an integrated strategy in order to:
- boost economic vitality and job opportunities in the metropolis;
- respond to residents’ housing and service needs;
- set an example in terms of energy and the environment;
- contribute to the artistic, cultural and social reach of the metropolis;
- suggest new concepts, new locations, new uses and new services with a focus on functional diversity and reversibility;
- suggest models to ensure efficiency in the projects and the residents' association.
As France’s largest metropolis, with a population of seven million inhabitants and to ensure extensive professional participation in the call for projects, the organisational committee – co-chaired by the Grand Paris Metropolis President and the Regional Prefect for Ile-de-France, responsible for the political management of the process – organised the call-up as early as possible in the process. In October 2016, an event was organised for all potential company candidates to present the 59 sites chosen by the organisational committee and invite them to respond to the consultation.
Site visits were organised in October and November 2016 alongside national and international communications campaigns. The website went online during the property show in December 2016, coinciding with the start of the official application submission process. A large-scale citizen debate took place in conjunction with the call for projects in order to bring residents. The winners were chosen by a panel for each site chaired by the President, who had the option to delegate this responsibility to the mayor of the town or territory in question in order to ensure control of the site’s future.
The implemented solutions have brought together elected representatives and professionals. The sites were proposed by the relevant mayor or territorial president, who presented them to the President of the Grand Paris Metropolis. Where appropriate, the site developer was included in a letter of intent addressed to the Grand Paris president. The devised solutions also aim to cater to new city dweller habits, with shared services proposed in half of the successful projects (co-living, co-working, etc.). An advisory elected representative–technician pair has been appointed and a fact sheet has been drawn up with:
- Information on the site location;
- Its surface area;
- Guidelines on the provisional programme and the developer;
- Whether they have already been selected;
- The type of innovation expected (intermodality, energy efficiency, urban services, digital technology, construction, culture, etc.);
- The town planning restrictions.
The decision to launch a call for projects has revamped the city's production methods by creating public/private partnerships, as the projects are led by professionals who assume the risks in return for land development potential.
Given the scale of the experiment, the territorial impact can be measured, as it is led at metropolitan level. Finally, as all metropolitan territories can participate in the call for projects, small towns with limited resources are able to optimise land in the same way as the larger towns.
Financing and resources
Budget: around 3500K€ for 2017
Different partners of “Inventing the Greater Paris Metropolis 2” will be available to contribute financially to the projects of the finalists. This list of potential funders will grow as the call for projects progresses. The shortlisted candidates will be able to express their interest in financing contributions during the second phase of the call for projects. Caisse des Dépôt.
The “Caisse des Dépôts” is a major financial partner of local authorities and is extensively involved in urban and economic development undertakings. It supports projects that promote the attractiveness of French areas, and initiatives dedicated to the general interest.The “Caisse des Dépôts” collects its own funds, which it invests alongside public and private partners in operations that contribute to the “Inventing the Metropolis of Greater Paris” call for projects.
Results and impacts
In terms of impact on the Metropolis), the “Let's reinvent the Metropolis” call for projects has raised its profile and substantially increased its attractiveness among investors, thus enhancing the diversity and quality of projects.
In terms of results, 164 company groups were selected from 420 candidates to acquire the 57 sites involved in the call for projects. The innovation goal was achieved as the groups of property and development professionals (architects, promoters and investors) place huge emphasis on urban innovation companies and a strong local presence, with more than 326 innovative start-ups, associations and SMEs.
If we consider the method, the 420 applications received proposed exceptional innovative ideas with a view to transforming the Metropolis into a “sustainable and smart city laboratory”. The “Let's reinvent the Grand Paris Metropolis” consultation has established itself as an urban innovation pioneer and Europe's largest smart city consultation process.
In terms of governance, the call for projects method, bringing mayors and territorial presidents into contact with teams of professionals to work on the projects, has helped create synergies between towns and territories.
Barriers and challenges
The major challenge is to ensure all citizens, community organisations and private sector companies are aware of the project and any barriers that prevent them from participating can be resolved.
Lessons learned and transferability
This project may be of interest to other cities if they are faced with the two-pronged challenge of finding solutions for land development and attracting investors. Of the key topics, the issue of mobility to simplify metropolitan connections is also relevant to other cities, with connected mobility, soft mobility and smart parking. A logistics review is another area for consideration, proposed at metropolitan level.
Communication with residents is also central to the project, which aims to integrate them from the very early planning stages. The relevance of the project is reliant on continual input from the user.
Furthermore, involving local elected representatives in the choice of sites and teams strengthens governance at both metropolitan and local levels. The Metropolis does not impose its projects on the communities. Instead, it instigates the process and promotes territories and know-how.
URBACT case study: How participative metropolitan planning can really work "Let's reinvent the Grand Paris Metropolis" call for projects brings together local stakeholders to design their metropolitan area: http://urbact.eu/how-participative-metropolitan-planning-can-really-work