The Olympic Games are political resources for others urban projects launched in Paris.
Meaning of Olympic Games to the city.
For any city, hosting Olympic games is a chance to show off. So-called world cities are in the permanent competition between themselves, and the Olympic Games is one of the strongest instrument to boost their development along with their position on the world stage. Even though one has to consider a period of preparations for Games that is usually long lasting and marked by corruption scandals and citizens unacceptance of certain plans. Things get worse when it is no longer the matter of successful campaign and national pride but endless construction Thus “eminent domain” or/and cleanings-up of the city before tourists and athletes arriving. These are the repetitive stories from newspapers all over the world: Beijing, Rio, Sochi, and Toronto. There is no one of them that passed without leaving a dirty trace of corruption or any construction inconveniences. However over and over again cities are fighting the right to host Olympic games. And Paris is taking it second try after the last failure in 2012. So why? Why is it so important for Paris to get the Olympics this time?
Paris has really fascinating project “dans l’air du temps”
The “devise” (moto) of Parisian Olympic game “partager”, “made for sharing” the city as arena, entirely included in the games, perfectly suits the concept of Olympics and the city itself. It seems to be a precise hit for Paris, very much concentrated on the social inclusion through rethinking of public spaces, encouraging the mix use on different levels; in other words making the city of a new generation – the space for interaction, city that is back in town. Parisian project of Olympics is notably aggregating the best practices, successful innovations and lessons from failures. For instance, the re-use of Olympic village, its location in the depressed area of the metropolitan – in Saint Denis river bank, is aiming to revitalize this part of the metropolis by occasion of the Games. If the Olympics are to happen, developed plans will allow to create new dynamics also after they are over, again with the regard on London successful example with the East Village.
The concept of Parisian Olympic Games is perfectly drown in the urban polices held by Mayor, Anne Hidalgo. Since all the projects launched recently are aiming to make city an inclusive united urban entity. As for example and “reinventing Paris”, Les Halles, pedestrianization of the right river bank. Meanwhile the metropolitan area is growing within the frame of Grand Paris. Therefore, it also needs be linked. Olympics would be an essential part “reinventing la Seine” (redevelopment of the river banks throughout metropolitan area).
We need Olympics,
With all its charm, Paris is not a wonderland where Anne Hidalgo is a magician, who knows how to make the “city” better and greener place to be. The recent urban transformations such as pedestalization, car reducing polices etc., were not always appreciated. Some experts are arguing that the ban for cars on the right river side, will cause even more pollution and aggravated city traffic. Others consider Anne Hidalgo projects being too ambitioned and unrealistic in city realm.
Therefore, in the face of criticisms, the current city government needs confirmation or and validation in a certain sense, that what has been done was a successful initiation and the perspective to move forwards. In particular, the regard of the ambitions to rethink the city of Paris.
If ever Paris will win the status of Olympic capital, it will face the whole spectrum of issues any city faced being elected, such as long construction, overcast, and citizens frustration because of the flow of visitors and security measures. However, one is clear, there will be no step back for the vision of the city chosen by the current city administration.