With plans to overhaul the governing body of Paris and the surrounding suburbs, the Mayor of the City of Lights may soon be looking at a new job description. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced a plan to bring the mayors and other regional and departmental heads of Paris together under a new ministry, the “Métropole de Paris” (The Metropolis of Paris). This council would be compromised of these individuals who would then elect a president to lead this new governing body. The Metropolis of Paris is expected to form in 2016.
Originally introduced as an initiative called le Grand Paris in 2009 by then president, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Metropolis of Paris was formed in June of that year, gathering together 203 local communities. Apart from creating a more efficient governance for Paris, the other goal of the project is to streamline the rail system in and around the city, particularly those that run to and from the suburbs.
In 2010, the Société du Grand Paris (The Grand Paris Society) was established to lead the project to overhaul Paris’s metro system. When François Hollande was elected in 2012, he adopted the project into his political agenda. Scheduled to be completed by 2030, the renovations to the metro for Paris and the surrounding neighborhoods would make it easier for those traveling into the city. It is expected to cost 26.5 billion euros.
Le Grand Paris will work in conjunction with the Métropole de Paris project, which is a plan to construct 40,000 to 70,000 new houses per year. Together, these initiatives aim to not only update Paris’s vital transportation system, but also to accommodate the ever-growing suburban population.