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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)

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