PM at Créteil meeting
14 October 2014

Greater Paris: “Turning promises into reality”

The Greater Paris initiative is a project in the service of residents of the Île-de-France region: it is intended to improve their living environment and put right territorial inequalities. However, it is also an issue of national importance: the Île-de-France region alone represents almost a third of French GDP, it therefore needs to embrace modernity, characterised by the emergence of metropolitan realities throughout the world.
Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February
In order to put into practice the commitments of the report to the Council of Ministers meeting on 9th July, the Prime Minister convened an interministerial committee meeting on 13th October in order to establish an overall view of the Greater Paris initiative, on the basis of concrete actions divided into four major priorities: transport, housing, economic development and governance.

This new stage heralds the commencement of further phases: Manuel Valls specified that a new interministerial committee meeting concerning the Greater Paris initiative would be convened before next summer, in order to deal with the social, cultural, sports and energy transition issues.


million residents of the Île-de-France region make 41 million journeys every day.
This is 17% more than 10 years ago.
Mobility is a major issue of French daily life. This is especially the case in the Parisian region: the Île-de-France transport system is subject to major constraints and needs to effectively adapt to users’ needs. It constitutes an essential element of the region’s competitiveness and attractiveness, and contributes to job creation. Its modernisation and development therefore constitute a Government priority.
32.5 billion euros
will be invested in the Greater Paris Express rapid transit lines. On 13th October Manuel Valls announced that the State will contribute the amount of 1.4 billion euros within the framework of the 2015-2020 State-Region plan contract (contrat de plan). This unprecedented raising of financial resources will enable the construction of new Greater Paris Express rapid transit lines which, with more than 200 km of lines and 69 stations, will be used by 2 million travellers per day.

In addition, the region will be allocated 140 million in new revenues, within the framework of the 2015 Finance Act, for the implementation of the mobilisation plan which should enable unprecedented efforts to modernise the existing network (Paris area rapid-transit rail network (RER), underground, tramway, buses etc.).
The construction of the New Greater Paris rapid transit lines will lead to the creation of 15,000 jobs per year in the course of the work while, above all, enabling greater effectiveness of the Île-de-France transport system, to the advantage of the economic fabric as a whole. The completion schedule is ambitious: while the first work is in progress (northbound extension of the Saint-Lazare to Mairie de Saint-Ouen line 14), Manuel Valls has decided to speed up the schedule for completion of the new underground lines in order, in particular, to enable provision of service by 2024 for the Paris Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly Airports, as well as the Plateau de Saclay from Orly, which constitute major access gateways and labour pools for the region.


It is vital to increase the supply of housing, the quality of habitat and the balanced geographical availability thereof, of social housing in particular, in the Île-de-France region. This constitutes one of the key factors for the attractiveness of the New Greater Paris area. In addition, the building of each home creates 1.87 permanent jobs.

homes are needed in order to meet the demands of households, demographic growth and economic growth in Île-de-France.

Increased State action is therefore legitimate in favour of housing in the Île-de-France region. It is needed in order to support local authorities’ efforts and clear the way for the implementation of projects when necessary.

Through the Mobilisation Plan for Development and Housing (Plan de mobilisation pour l’aménagement et le logement), the State is embarking upon an initiative aimed at boosting building and renovation of  housing conditions of Île-de-France residents, while offering a new generation of planning tools and support to local authorities undertaking construction work.
  • In territories with a high potential for the creation of housing, 40 development operations are already underway or in preparation.
    5 initial sites, to be dealt with in priority, have already been selected:

    The Canal de l'Ourcq territories (93),
    The Cité Descartes territories (77/93),
    Villejuif - Campus grand Parc (94),
    Gennevilliers (92),
    Louvres Puiseux (95).

    About fifteen others will be specified at a later date.
  • The creation of multisite Operation of National Interest (OIN / opération d’intérêt national), in cooperation with the local authorities concerned, will make it possible to speed up implementation and remove obstacles in complex situations. It will give special powers to the State in urban planning matters.
  • The Île-de-France Region land management and development agency (Agence Foncière et Technique de la Région Île-de-France) is to become the Grand Paris Aménagement institution for town planning and development operations. It will manage and coordinate multisite Operation of National Interest (OIN).
The housing initiative will be accompanied by resolute action in order to reduce accommodation unfit for habitation, in particular within 19 territories that responded to the call for projects issued by the State and the Regional Healthcare Agency, to which the State will devote 20 million euros over a 5-year period.

Finally, in order to support the construction of the required facilities and welcome new residents, subsidies are required for mayors undertaking building projects; the financing thereof will be discussed within the framework of the 2015 Finance Act.

Economic Development

Île-de-France ranks 3rd among the world’s metropolitan regions, after Tokyo and New York.
It also ranks as Europe’s most important economic region, the second most popular European destination for foreign investments, the most important European centre of research (ranking in 3rd place at the international level) and the world’s leading tourist destination, with 32 million visitors a year.

Île-de-France is France’s economic engine. However, in recent years it has also been the major European city with the lowest rate of growth of employment (+ 0.1% per year). Its economic dynamism therefore needs to be developed at the same time as its capacity for sustainable reduction of its social, urban and environmental difficulties.

The Greater Paris project has a twofold objective: making Paris a world economic capital, while ensuring balanced economic development within its territory, in favour of its residents. The Greater Paris initiative could give rise to more than 60 billion euros of public revenues per year and 800,000 permanent jobs by 2030. To this end, the following measures are planned:
  • more effective use of the Île-de-France region’s 7 competitiveness clusters, the Investment for the Future Programme funds (of which 40% are concentrated in Île-de-France) and innovative projects for the development of the Greater Paris businesses of tomorrow;
  • improvement of the Greater Paris area’s regional and international connections, by means of greater accessibility of Île-de-France’s airports and high-speed railway stations;
  • reinforcing the attractiveness of the territory, by facilitating the establishment of foreign companies in the region;
  • creating an integrated system of economic governance enabling the development of a visible and easily identifiable "Greater Paris trademark" for economic actors (tourism, foreign investments and Greater Paris entrepreneurs).
A large number of public and private projects, which are emblematic for Greater Paris, are already underway, leading to the creation of business and employment: Campus Paris Saclay, Villages Natures, Port Seine Métropole, Europa City, Eurodisney phase IV, the development of air transport hubs (Roissy, Orly, Le Bourget), renewal of the La Défense business district and the health innovation centre in Evry, in particular.

The Government is also supporting Greater Paris’s candidature for the 2025 World Exhibition, which Manuel Valls declared to be a “major metropolitan project” capable of federating the energies of the Greater Paris region as a whole. This candidature, put forward by the local authorities, is also supported by the region’s companies.


Paris and the inner peripheral zone (petite couronne): The New Greater Paris Metropolitan Area (nouvelle Métropole du Grand Paris)

The Government has taken note of the new modes of organisation of the future metropolitan area (Paris and the petite couronne inner peripheral zone) put forward by the council of elected representatives of the pre-planning commission on 8th October. It shares the same objectives: fighting against inequalities in order to ensure that no territory is excluded; meeting climate challenges; and above all responding to the housing crisis. It is henceforth up to Parliament, in the coming months, to decide upon the changes that will be necessary.

1st January 2016
A large majority of elected representatives came together to emphasise the need to create a metropolitan area, an EPCI (établissement public de coopération intercommunale) administrative institution comprising municipalities of the densely populated area with a specific tax regime, from 1st January 2016, as well as progressive skills integration.
However, Manuel Valls recalled that the creation of the Greater Paris metropolitan area at 1st January 2016 is not intended to create an additional level of administration. It therefore implies the disappearance of the general councils in the Paris metropolitan area, in the spirit of the territorial reform. “French people and the inhabitants of Greater Paris would not understand the creation of an additional level, when this reform is aimed at simplification”, he specified during a speech at Créteil.

Grande couronne: strong intercommunal relations
Alongside the creation of the metropolitan area at 1st January 2016, a new intercommunal organisation is being put in place for the urban area as a whole. Since 28th August 2014, discussions have been in progress and elected representatives are being heard. Plans need to remain ambitious with regard to the outer peripheral area (Grande couronne): groupings of 200,000 inhabitants therefore represent a minimum.

The regions could finally be endowed with a dynamic resource. In order to limit competition between territories, convergence of economic taxation should be possible at rates to be decided by elected representatives.