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Suburbs Reducing Car Dependence

In today's Solution of the Day, Paris looks to transform a high-traffic boulevard to reduce pollution and bring residents closer together

Parisian charm doesn’t extend to the suburbs that are home to over 10 million people who grapple with the daily inconveniences caused by that city’s Boulevard Périphérique beltway. The poor planning of the metro area around the beltway’s axis has created a fragmentation of transit and of residents’ identity by disrupting the city’s architectural harmony and transport system.

The beltway is flanked by elegant Haussmann-era buildings along the roadside that sharply give way to modernist, box-style homes. Not only does this stark juxtaposition obstruct the city’s aesthetic, but the beltway also lacks adequate sidewalks, leaving pedestrians to fend for themselves against the entangled lanes. The greater Paris area is seeking to transform the beltway and expand the public transit network to tame car traffic and bar heavily polluting vehicles in the inner city.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo has expressed a commitment to reducing the city’s carbon footprint. The efforts to reduce car dominance in Paris faces more adversity in the suburbs than in the heart of the city. Plans to transform the Boulevard Périphérique and expand mass transit deep into these politically fragmented areas will require higher levels of coordination, but have the potential to repair the social segregation and disconnect between communities.

Read the full story here (via City Lab)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

Why A 23-Year Old Is Buying Houses For Just $500 And Giving Them Back To The Original Owner

In Detroit, the supply and demand of real estate has been drastically skewed by a surplus of abandoned homes and defaulted mortgages. Drew Philp, a 23-year-old Detroit resident and homeowner, attempted to save his elderly neighbors from eviction by bidding on their homes at auctions and gave ownership back to the long-term residents.

A Legal Genius May Have Found A Way To Make Your Student Debt Disappear

America’s student debt crisis climbs year after year, reaching a new high in 2017 at a total balance of $1.3 trillion among 44 million borrowers. A growing movement of lawyers across the United States are seeking ways to challenge antiquated bankruptcy laws that have been in place for decades to reflect today’s economic reality, and help students erase their loans.

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