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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

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Sarkozy plans historic changes to France's capital

Ahh, Paris. The charm, the history, the beauty – could this city get any better? I submit that it could not.  
Nicolas Sarkozy would disagree. And if he has his way, the city will undergo some drastic changes and restructuring – changes the likes of which have not been seen in Paris in more than 150 years.
Sarkozy is currently looking to undertake a major project aimed at expanding Paris to include its large, impoverished surrounding suburbs. At the same time, the project will rejuvenate and modernize the city. Oh, and it will aim to be eco-friendly, too. 
Gee, Sarkozy, ambitious much?
The city center of Paris (also called the “peripherique”) has about 2 million inhabitants, while the surrounding suburbs (also called the “banlieues”) have more than 6 million.
These two areas have been fairly disconnected due to the lack of public transportation between the two, as well as the different local governing bodies. 
In the past, this division has even been the cause of some unrest, such as the riots of 2005, which took place in the housing projects outside of the city.
Nevertheless, Sarkozy is thinking big – New York City/London/Tokyo big.
France’s president envisions a Paris that will rival said metropolises and has dubbed this planned urban expansion “Greater Paris.”
He has even commissioned 10 prominent architects to begin work on plans to bring his vision to life. He has also been speaking with sociologists and city planners for several months, trying to get his plans in motion.
Currently, the main issue that stands in the way of the realization of “Greater Paris” is transportation. Currently, the Metro line operates within the Paris city limits and does not extend into the suburbs.
Plans propose beginning Metro construction in 2012 (just in time for Sarkozy’s re-election campaign, I might add), with the expansion reaching completion around 2017.
In addition to the improved Metro system, Sarkozy also proposes adding a train line that circles the city. This will expedite the commute for those living in the surrounding suburbs. Plus, the line will connect with both main airports, aiding tourism.
And speaking as someone who has had the great misfortune of traveling to the terribly inconvenient Beauvais airport, trust me, this train line sounds like a really great idea.
While Sarkozy’s plans to make Paris more modern and inclusive have a great deal of potential, some unanswered questions remain.
One very important consideration that has not been fully fleshed-out is how this project will be funded.
The transportation project alone is projected to cost $47 million. But who can really put a price on the mark that Sarkozy stands to make on Paris?
Another consideration is the effect this project will have on the government structure. It is likely that the many local governing bodies of the surrounding suburban towns will lose some power to Sarkozy in the process.
Legislation to bring about Sarkozy’s vision of “Greater Paris” is just now beginning to take form. Issues are being debated, and it is clear that it will be a long time before improvements begin.
As Paris gets a proverbial facelift, I just hope that it does not lose its distinct charm. Paris is unlike anywhere else in the world, and I do hope that precautions are made to keep its heritage and unique qualities amid all these changes.
Sarkozy is currently looking to undertake a major project aimed at expanding Paris to include its large, impoverished surrounding suburbs. At the same time, the project will rejuvenate and modernize the city. Oh, and it will aim to be eco-friendly, too. 
Gee, Sarkozy, ambitious much?
The city center of Paris (also called the “peripherique”) has about 2 million inhabitants, while the surrounding suburbs (also called the “banlieues”) have more than 6 million.
These two areas have been fairly disconnected due to the lack of public transportation between the two, as well as the different local governing bodies. 
In the past, this division has even been the cause of some unrest, such as the riots of 2005, which took place in the housing projects outside of the city.
Nevertheless, Sarkozy is thinking big – New York City/London/Tokyo big.
France’s president envisions a Paris that will rival said metropolises and has dubbed this planned urban expansion “Greater Paris.”
He has even commissioned 10 prominent architects to begin work on plans to bring his vision to life. He has also been speaking with sociologists and city planners for several months, trying to get his plans in motion.
Currently, the main issue that stands in the way of the realization of “Greater Paris” is transportation. Currently, the Metro line operates within the Paris city limits and does not extend into the suburbs.
Plans propose beginning Metro construction in 2012 (just in time for Sarkozy’s re-election campaign, I might add), with the expansion reaching completion around 2017.
In addition to the improved Metro system, Sarkozy also proposes adding a train line that circles the city. This will expedite the commute for those living in the surrounding suburbs. Plus, the line will connect with both main airports, aiding tourism.
And speaking as someone who has had the great misfortune of traveling to the terribly inconvenient Beauvais airport, trust me, this train line sounds like a really great idea.
While Sarkozy’s plans to make Paris more modern and inclusive have a great deal of potential, some unanswered questions remain.
One very important consideration that has not been fully fleshed-out is how this project will be funded.
The transportation project alone is projected to cost $47 million. But who can really put a price on the mark that Sarkozy stands to make on Paris?
Another consideration is the effect this project will have on the government structure. It is likely that the many local governing bodies of the surrounding suburban towns will lose some power to Sarkozy in the process.
Legislation to bring about Sarkozy’s vision of “Greater Paris” is just now beginning to take form. Issues are being debated, and it is clear that it will be a long time before improvements begin.
As Paris gets a proverbial facelift, I just hope that it does not lose its distinct charm. Paris is unlike anywhere else in the world, and I do hope that precautions are made to keep its heritage and unique qualities amid all these changes.

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