Similarly in Plain Commun St Denis to the North of Paris, new offices adjoining the French national stadium beyond the Peripherique ring road are helping to finance new housing, most of it ‘rent to buy’. Eight local authorities have pooled their planning teams under a single director.
The RER already criss-crosses Paris, high speed connections are open to all the French provincial cities, and no less than eight new tramlines are under construction connecting up poorer suburbs with jobs and services.
French strategic planning in Greater Paris (the Ile de France) is still alive and well, backed up by the use of the Societe Mixte to mobilise investment in infrastructure. New light rail projects are supported by a charge on employer payrolls, the Versement Transport, while poorer areas can tap into the French state infrastructure bank the Caisse des Depots.
The whole process seems more predictable, and possibly much less costly than the British ‘stop go’ system, and a proper comparison could help us use limited resources much more effectively.
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