It’s a little over a year until the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the city is buzzing with extensive construction projects. However, the city council is looking beyond the Games as it seeks to make the city more climate-friendly.
Creation of cycle paths, greening of school playgrounds, insulation of public buildings…To tackle climate change, the Paris city council plans to speed up work on adapting its buildings and roads over the summer, the city’s deputy construction manager announced on Wednesday.
During the summer period, the French capital will be carrying out 1,700 projects in its public buildings at a cost of around €180 million, with the main aim of “speeding up environmental operations” (building insulation, energy performance, ventilation, etc).
Maintenance and improvement projects are also planned, including work on school toilets and 22 accessibility projects.
“These projects are not more numerous, but they are more substantial because we are greening the city, making it easier to cycle, and renovating buildings to a much higher standard than before”, explained Communist deputy Jacques Baudrier.
Tackling the climate crisis with infrastructure
As part of its climate plan; the Paris city council is committed to reducing the energy consumption of its 3,600 public buildings by 30% by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
School buildings are particularly concerned, with work underway in 466 of the city’s 638 schools.
Also on the agenda is the creation of 32 ‘oasis’ school grounds featuring greenery, fountains and shaded areas.
The city council also plans to change 3,200 windows in its public buildings. “These are figures we’ve never achieved before”, commented Mr Baudrier.
Among the most emblematic projects that will continue this summer, the councillor cited the James Baldwin multimedia library, which will open at the beginning of 2024.
“This is our flagship building, demonstrating the very best we can do regarding using bio- or geo-sourced materials and natural ventilation. It will certainly earn us international recognition”, he said.
Cycling its way to a cleaner city
As far as roads are concerned; the Town Hall reported 522 rights of way but covers a much larger surface area of around 1.2 million m2 due to work on the tramway and 26 km of new cycle paths.
“We accept that there will be larger-scale worksites this summer. We are facing a major challenge in terms of climate change and air pollution, and we need to change things”, explained David Belliard, EELV deputy for mobility.
The elected representatives also announced a freeze on road and network works in Paris for the Olympic Games between 15 June and 15 September 2024. All worksites will then have to be either completed or withdrawn and secured.