Bringing about change in France’s most populated and visited city
2019, February 08th
In sight of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games the organisers plan to seize opportunities for increased sport and physical activity before and after the games. Beforehand, Generation 2024 seeks to take advantage of the momentum in the run up to the event to help develop sport, build a society with more solidarity and that respects the environment. Afterwards, it is hoped the Games’ Heritage will be a regional catalyst for change in terms of accessibility to sport and physical activities, but also in terms of acquired skills and work experience through the event’s volunteer work.
The core of Paris’ quest for change in lifestyles appears to stem from sustainable actions against climate change.
Paris Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2018, laying out a vision and strategy for Paris to align with COP21. The Plan is but a continuation of previous Parisian climate strategies that formally started in 2004. The present Plan also accounted for civil society’s opinions and priorities when it comes to sustainability and climate change, hence enabling it to implement an action plan for 2030, which responds to the ambitions for 2050. Also included is the Plan zero diesel 2020 whose main objective is to reduce traffic congestion and inherently traffic pollution, bearing in mind that 2/3 of car journeys are private. EUR 8 million have been allocated to transform the Quai-de-Seine into pedestrian areas, to which the doubling of cycle paths can be added. The city has taken a further step to encourage a transition to electrical transport by imposing mandatory each vehicle to possess a vignette indicating its rate of pollution and bans the use of the most polluting in times of high pollution. At present, less than 2% of residents do their daily travels by foot or bike- to encourage a different approach to travelling Paris has installed several “self-service” methods of transportation: Vélib’ (shared bikes in 2007), Autolib’ (shared cars in 2011), CityScoot (shared scooters in 2016).
 Cebr, Urban Mobility Index, Avril 2017. 20-21 https://www.qualcomm.com/documents/urban-mobility-index-report
In 2018 at the initiative of the City of Paris, Volcom and Sterling Projects, the touristic hotspot that is Place de la République unveiled a new piece of street furniture replacing old skating ramps. Its design does not resemble traditional skating ramps and blends in with the urban landscape to the extent that one would not realise it was purposed for skating. The main idea was to bring skating activities into social life and away from its ‘underground’ image, while in parallel the installation attracts residents and local life back into such a popular area encouraging more for social inclusion.
The Plan Biodiversité 2018-2024 seeks to increase and safeguard Paris’ green zones with a particular focus on the biodiversity of fauna and flora, in order to reintroduce nature in urban areas. Over 30 actions are organised under 3 pillars: biodiversity in a committed city (including biodiversity in urban projects and plans); biodiversity by and for all (raising awareness, training and support); biodiversity everywhere ( construction, urban planning, protection). In other terms, the city offers a diversity of activities that are free of charge and suitable for all ages.
The Paris Swim Plan between 2015-2020, EUR 150,5 million are dedicated to the renovation and creation of swimming pool facilities. Some of the main objectives include for at least 75% of 10-11-year-olds to be able to swim and to improve residents’ access to public pools.
Programme Senior+ offers a variety of free of charge sport and physical activities to senior residents in all arrondissements.
Dispositif Paris Sport Vacances offers sport and physical activities throughout all school holidays for children (7-17 years old) in order to keep them active and busy.
Paris Santé Nutrition : is associated with a range of partners, who together have created participatory workshops on the topics of nutrition and physical activity, so as to help individuals gain knowledge about their health and well-being.
The following table seeks to bring forth some of the key elements of Paris’s current transformation to enhance its residents well-being.
The table is non-exhaustive and strives to offer a more concrete idea of how to become an Active City.