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Design Challenge! Sarkozy To Turn Paris Into the First "Post-Kyoto" City

Maybe he was inspired by Masdar City. Or Basel. Either way, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has unveiled a bold new plan to revamp Paris as the first ever "post-Kyoto" sustainable city. His nine-month study culiminated last week when 10 starchitects presented their plans for more parks, better mass..


Maybe he was inspired by Masdar City. Or Basel. Either way, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has unveiled a bold new plan to revamp Paris as the first ever "post-Kyoto" sustainable city. His nine-month study culiminated last week when 10 starchitects presented their plans for more parks, better mass transit, skyrails, and more.The result has been wildly ambition rethinkings of that city: Sure the Gare du Nord is beautiful and old and important, but it's inefficient and should be replaced by a major high-speed train hub, said one designer. Another proposed moving all trains underground, and replacing the land with sprawling parks.What's interesting, as this Times columnist points out, is that most designers took into account not just sustainability, and linking the suburbs more readily to the city center, but also the complex social systems (race, class, geographic isolation) at play in Paris. Many addressed them in thoughtful remappings of the city.Of course, there's no money for the revamp, per se, and he certainly has his critics, but let's not get caught up in the details. Kudos to Sarkozy for stirring up interesting thought about the way cities should work in the 21st century.
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