Grand Paris and the urban redevelopment project that goes with it ain’t fucking about. I’ve been following some of the changes and construction in the area for a while now and have started some preliminary maps showing some of the areas to be reconstructed and the appearance of new kinds of industry.
This shows a few sites around the metro station Paul Valliant Couturier in Villejuif. Several sales booths appeared here just before Christmas, the advertising promises security, landscaped gardens and an apparently entirely white neighbourhood, within commuting distance of Paris. Most of them are selling homes which haven’t been built yet, but which will probably be sold on the private market. The areas around metro stations have been particularly targeted for new housing developments; in particular for Parisiens looking for cheaper homes with good access to work. The effects of this can already be seen around the Metro Front Populaire in Aubervilliers, close to a conference centre and home to homogenous flats which resemble those popping up in ivry, vitry, saint deni montreuil, and other districts facing gentrification.
This shows a larger view of one of Villejuifs boulevards. The writing in red refer to sites targeted by the ‘Arc d’Innovation’ scheme, which is a kind of badge that companies and associations can adopt to show that they are linked with the economic development of the banlieu in preparation for Grand Paris. This includes current brownland sites which have been bought up and targeted as of high potential value to developers (a.k.a speculation). In Villejuif these sites seem to be principally linked with Biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
The poorly labeled (my bad) “14 euros pour un assiette” refers to a newly built restaurant opposite the library; where a main course costs at least 14euros, way more than any of the local takeaways or small family fun restaurants.
The above map shows Vitry sur Seine which has 3 targeted ZAC’s (Zone d’Amenagement Concerté). Currently Vitry has poor transport links into Paris but this will change in by 2022 as a new metro station is unveiled, and current RER stations are updated. One of these stations; Les Ardoines is close by housing for African migrant workers, which will be evicted and closed down. Although the council has promised to rehouse the residents, this will only apply to ‘official’ residents and not to the numbrous people being housed unofficially by friends and family; many of whom do not have papers.
The Parc de Couteau, has like other parks in the area, had it’s size dramatically reduced in order to accomodate a new metro station; reducing the amount of free and open green space in the area. The new metro will lead to this space becoming more controlled and with a reduction in the amount of wildlife that could be found here.
The labels in red refer to arc d’innovation associated projects. The Hotel des Enterprise is an example of how the majority of this redevelopment is geared toward private enterprise, including international business looking to set up shop on cheaper land. It’s difficult to find specific details about what enterprises exactly will be hosted here. The website promoting the redevelopment has this to say:
Proche de Paris, économiquement actif et doté d’un paysage attachant, le territoire d’Orly Rungis – Seine Amont ne manque pas d’atouts. Son potentiel de mutation est l’un des plus prometteurs de l’Île-de-France, justifiant les mesures prises pour corriger ses handicaps.
The area around villejuif louis aragon is also in the middle of a development proces. This mapping project actually began when a local road and public pathway was gated and padlocked as part one of the projects of mass demolition and reconsstruction (see posts in thi blog “from banlieu to non lieu”). As part of the metro extension a brand new quater is being built on the ruins on a detroyed one. The marketing dialogue again revolves around security and the creation of starter homes for young urban, upwardly mobile, pofessionals.
This image shows Ivry sur Seine, wherein the process of redevelopment is advancing. The large red space is Ivry Confluences; a ZAC around another former port, the redevelopment being led by SADEV. The various debacles, lies and corruption surrounding this area has been intensely covered by the local journal Char d’Ivary. Projects here hve focused on innovative, creative and entrepreneurial type industries; with the theatre and briquetterie (as well as the macval in vitry) playing an important role in revaamping the areas cultural capital and making it an attractive prospect for bobos and membersnof the creative classes. This means that co-working and fablab spaces are moving in along with leroy merlin and large industries with a dialogue of environmentalism and social mobility in a way that remains inaccessible to most habitants.
Featured on the above maps is the squat Dilengo, which is owned by Sadev. As an attemdpt to secure a rapid eviction sadev argued taht the buoling needed to be demolish in order to construct a new set of flats. Hoever it was soon made apparent that the plans provided to support their case actually turned out to be the plns for an already built block of flats just over the road called Villa Moliere (visible on bottom map).
One of the wierdest projects is that of reinventer la seine which has a website written in english; presumably to be more accessible to international investers than people actually living on the sut of their projects. One of the proposed projects for Ivry is a the renovation of an old pipe line across the river.