Friday, 2 January 2015

Paris has a good idea

"Paris is always a good idea."
Audrey Hepburn

Paris does not just seem to be a good idea but to have a good idea. The city recently announced a plan to stop housing displacement in central neighbourhoods and the creation of "ghettos for the rich". The Council of Paris published a list of 257 addresses, i.e. over 8.000 flats, that the city would have the "right of first-refusal" to buy. These flats are located in areas that are gentrified and the city aims to increase subsidised rental options and to ensure that at least some remain affordable to middle-income Parisians, the "great forgotten ones".

"Choosing diversity and solidarity, against exclusion, social determinism and the centrifugal logic of the market. It also aims to reduce inequalities between the east and the west of Paris in particular, developing social supply where it is insufficient."
Ian Brossat, mayor's aide

In other words, when a flat on the list comes of for sale it must first be offered to the city at the market price; the price is decided by the city. If the landlord or landlady does not wish to accept the offer, they can appeal to an independent judge in order to have it repriced. The plan is certainly not cheap but worth it as it "is essentially to give Paris the ability to act as a social-mix monitor, steeping in to prevent social segregation in the public interest if they feel it is under threat." No matter if it is going to be a success, it "deserves credit for really trying." (via)

photographs: of Christian Bérard and Rénee (suit by Dior, Le Marais, Paris in August 1947) by Richard Avedon via, of Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer and Richard Avedon for Harper's Bazaar (by Henry Wolf, 1959) via and via, of Richard Avedon and Audrey Hepburn via, of Audrey Hepburn with William Holden (set of "Paris When it Sizzles", 1964) via and via, of Dovima dressed in Dior by Richard Avedon (1955) via


  1. Replies
    1. It really is; and what an impact it has on cities ...

  2. They should tell London.

  3. You do an exceptional job with this weblog. Thanks.

    1. That is very kind of you, Erin. Thank you so much for your wonderful and highly appreciated feedback.