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Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 11:44 AM
New Brisavoine New Brisavoine is offline
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The decree setting the exact limits of the Greater Paris Metropolis (Métropole du Grand Paris, or MGP) was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic last Friday (Oct. 4).

We know now the definite extent of the MGP that will come into existence on Jan. 1, 2016, although things are in a state of flux after that (see the last bullet point below).

Two right-wing communes have been kicked out from the MGP by the National Assembly during the summer: Chelles and Verrières-le-Buisson. In the case of Chelles, the left-wing local deputy in the National Assembly managed to have the assembly vote to kick out Chelles from the MGP. The right-wing mayor, who wished for Chelles to join the MGP, which will be ruled by right-wing parties, is outraged, but the left-wing deputy (and left-wing opposition in the municipal council) did not want Chelles to join a right-wing MGP, and the Socialist government granted him his wish.

Verrières-le-Buisson was a collateral damage of that Chelles shenanigan. The right-wing municipal council of Verrières-le-Buisson had voted in favor of joining the MGP after the legal delay they had to do so, but the Socialist minister in charge of local governments had told them that the law would be amended to allow them to join, yet the way the law was rewritten to forbid Chelles from joining the MGP also mechanically prevented Verrières-le-Buisson from joining, and the Socialist minister could do nothing about it. The mayor of Verrières-le-Buisson is furious.

As for Wissous, they stupidly voted against joining the MPG, but that we already knew when I wrote my post last June.

Here below I have amended my post from last June to reflect the changes since then.
The French Senate fixed the limits of the Greater Paris Metropolis last week. If the National Assembly does not change before July what the Senate has done, then The National Assembly changed what the Senate had done, and so according to the decree published on Oct. 2 this is what the territory of the Greater Paris Metropolis should will look like when it comes into existence on January 1, 2016.

The Métropole du Grand Paris (Greater Paris Metropolis) will:
  • include 133 131 communes (municipalies), i.e. City of Paris + 132 130 "suburban" municipalities
  • cover exactly 840 km² (324 mi²) 814 km² (314 mi²), i.e. 105 km² of City of Paris + 735 709 km² of inner and outer suburbs. Unfortunately many outer suburbs will not be included in the Greater Paris Metropolis, because the members of Parliament chose the path of least resistance and opted for a Greater Paris Metropolis essentially limited to the inner suburbs. For comparison, Greater London covers 1,572 km², and even the city of Rome covers 1,287 km².
  • have 7,014,165 6,945,306 inhabitants (that's the population of those 840 814 km² at the 2012 census). The population density was thus 8,350 inh. per km² (21,626 ppsm) 8,530 inh. per km² (22,092 ppsm) at the 2012 census (25,757 inh. per km² / 66,711 ppsm in the City of Paris; 6,498 inh. per km² / 16,829 ppsm 6,637 inh. per km² / 17,190 ppsm in the "suburbs").
  • be ruled by a "metropolitan council" made up of approx. 210 members representing the 133 131 communes
  • be divided into 12 gigantic EPTs ("établissements publics territoriaux"), similar to London boroughs or Berlin Bezirke, whose exact numbers and limits will be known this summer (the EPTs must contain more than 300,000 inhabitants each, it's a mandatory requirement). I say "gigantic" in a French context (of minuscule communes), because of course those EPTs will be smaller than the NYC boroughs.
  • change Paris forever, but nobody knows exactly in what ways. Everybody (Parliament, government, local officials and mayors) is a bit lost after the 8 (8!) back and forth in Parliament that this Greater Paris bill has been submitted to, nobody knows where we're going exactly, but we're going 'there'. Armageddon starts on January 1, 2016 if you're to believe the local politicians. They are all peeing in their pants at the moment. Fun to watch.
  • (oh yeah, I almost forgot) perhaps be expanded to cover the entire 12,012 km² (4,638 mi²) of the Paris Region. Now some politicians in the government have 2nd thoughts, they think the territory of the Greater Paris Metropolis is too small (it will include Orly Airport in its entirety for example, but only one-third of CDG Airport, and none of the French 'MITs' located on the Plateau de Saclay, which concentrates Paris's top-notch engineering schools and scientific campuses), and it makes no sense to have a regional authority distinct from the metropolitan authority, so it would be better to merge the metropolis and the region. As of now we're heading towards a 840 814 km² metropolis on Jan. 1, 2016. After that, only God knows. Latest news: if the Socialists manage to keep the Paris Region in the regional elections in December, they have already let it be known that the Métropole du Grand Paris, whose majority on a 814 km² territory is right-wing, will be expanded to cover the entire Paris Region and merged with the region. The region would become the metropolis.
Below is the bizarre map of the Métropole du Grand Paris as it will come into existence on Jan. 1, 2016. Wissous, which refused to join, is almost totally surrounded by the MGP and forms a sort of enclave. I'm also posting maps showing the extent of territory around Central Paris corresponding to the size of Berlin and London. It shows how ridiculously small is this MGP compared to the real extent of Paris's urbanization. If you compare with the Berlin map, you can also notice that some dense communes to the West and North-West have not been included while some less dense communes to the South-East have been included. Politics!

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