The development project for the new district of Bercy-Charenton is back on track. On Thursday July 7, the Council of Paris, the deliberative assembly of the city, adopted a text which defines new objectives and the terms of the consultation which will begin on July 9.

“This project has been redirected,” assumed Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy to Mayor Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party), hoping to turn the page on a particularly electric period. The initial plan for the complete redevelopment of this Parisian area of ​​80 hectares, now mainly occupied by railway tracks and warehouses, into a residential and business district, was narrowly adopted in 2018. And immediately called into question on all sides.

The municipal executive had therefore put the work back on the job and proposed, in April, a new version. There will be fewer buildings: we go from 583,000 square meters to 230,000 square meters, fewer inhabitants (3,500 against 9,000). The six skyscrapers that were to respond to the 190-meter tower to be erected on the Charenton side have been abandoned. The height of housing will be limited to 50 meters, that of offices to 37 meters. The idea of ​​a district on slab was not retained. On the contrary, there are twice as many green spaces (minimum 45% open ground) with a wooded park of 3.5 hectares.

The deliberation voted on Thursday specifies: “While retaining these primary qualities, the overhaul proposed today aims to take into account the climatic, social and democratic emergency by designing a more virtuous project, both in environmental and human terms, which better responds to the challenges of combating heat islands, promotes greening, brings many constructive innovations to offer spaces in all frugality to recharge your batteries, breathe and share. “A long sentence that says well the will of the municipality to embark everyone.

“Model of bioclimatic urban planning”

“I am delighted that a chapter is coming to an end with this deliberation to allow us to start writing the next one”, confided, before the Council of Paris, the ecologist Emmanuelle Marie-Pierre, mayor of the 12th arrondissement, specifying “I relish these green victories. Echoing this, the environmental adviser Fatoumata Koné insisted: “Through this deliberation, we are closing an important chapter, that of the end of the tower projects in Paris, which we venture to describe as historic. Because today we are burying an obsolete town planning. For her part, Councilor Danielle Simonnet (La France insoumise) welcomed the fact that, “well, listen, the fight pays off”.

The fact remains that many questions remain to be scrupulously examined, recalled Emmanuel Grégoire: what is the real impact of the height of dwellings? What is the right level of population density? How best to combat urban heat islands? “We’ll do science,” he warned. Obviously, Anne Hidalgo’s first deputy is well aware that the new chapter that is opening may not be easy.

In fact, the Council of Paris, even if it adopted the text of the executive, has not forgotten all the disagreements that have been expressed since 2018. “The project remains very dense and in particular around the ring road”, regretted Valérie Montandon, elected from the Republicans, centrists and independents group, recalling that the overhaul of the project “is not only due to environmentalists but also to the right”. The councilor also denounced the choice of 57% social housing.

And while environmentalists and “rebellious” rejoice at the abandonment of the towers, the communist Nicolas Bonnet-Oulaldj, in favor of housing construction, recalled that, “if we want to fight against urban sprawl, which is a ecological disaster for biodiversity, you have to build high”.

The Bercy-Charenton shipyard still looks like a battlefield. Emmanuel Grégoire therefore called on elected officials to “collectively co-construct this project to make it a model of bioclimatic urban planning”. Because, he said, co-construction, “it is both the refusal of a form of authoritarianism from the majority, but it is also not to undergo the sometimes a little tyrannical pressure of the minority” . This, shortly after having specified, not without irony: “We are living a moment of grace, since, on this project which has unleashed so many passions, everyone is in agreement. And, as often with good ideas, they have many parents. »