The Grand Paris Project is a gigantic reshaping urban project which focuses on creating a mega railway system throughout the bigger Paris region, thus creating new centers and new habitat as well as reducing the impact of the region’s population on the downtown area.

The project started in 2007 under President Sarkozy and is supposed to be completed by 2024-6. It is most likely to reach completion closer to 2030, as is often the case with major urban programs.

The population of Paris is around 2 Million people living in the historic limit, as of 2014. It expands to encompass a population of about 12 Million in its wider suburban area, with a variety of separate centres, more or less well-connected and well-developed.

Most of the new constructions will be ecologically friendly

The project will be entirely automatic in terms of rail connections, with a network of trains speeding up to 90 miles per hour on some sections, thus connecting distances in record-breaking amounts of time. Some sections which used to take an hour to traverse will now be covered in just 15 minutes. That includes the airports, which are not optimally connected to the city. The creation of 4 new metro lines will add 200 kilometers of railroads to the dense Paris metro line system. One of the new features will be a metro line circling around the city. This is, by the way, the biggest urban railroad network in the world, with a pre-existing 200 kilometres.

Visual illustration of a new housing neighborhood in the Greater Paris

This truly futuristic project has been a colossal investment, about 29 billion Euros… It is expected to create 115,000 new jobs in the region, and eliminate 27 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The challenge will now be to reconcile urban development and ecology, as well as give coherence to the newly created centres, and durable employment The number of housing units expected to be built is somewhere between 250,000 and 400,000. Critics argue that these railroad infrastructures and the new neighbourhoods around them are a terrific gamble, in a world which will surely be dominated by automated cars and day-to-day vehicle rentals.

What neighbourhoods?


This map shows you the different districts encompassed in the Grand Paris Project. Altogether, its purpose is to promote and connect parts of the region that are under-developed and connect them to the rest of the region, as well as to enhance the dynamism of existing outer rim centres. For instance the western district of La Défense is already one of the world s leading city downtown business centers. Altogether, the greater part of the effort is going to be in the East and South districts, a smaller part in the North, and a lesser part in the West, which is already the most developed part of the greater Paris, due to the La Défense district with its sky scrapers, and the presence of the wealthiest suburbs of France, such as Neuilly sur Seine. Another goal of this huge project is to promote Parisian Universities, which are dispersed across the region of Paris and which have campuses that are difficult to discern.

D.A.