Paris will plant an “urban forest” at Place de Catalogne, a busy roundabout with close proximity to the Gare Montparnasse railway station. The city will add nearly 500 trees to the roundabout. The new urban forest project will help with cooling to combat the urban heat island effect as well as contribute to an overall plan for improving air quality and reducing emissions that contribute to global warming. “The temperatures one could feel in this little forest will be 4 degrees lower compared to what we could have outside it and so, it will be very pleasant,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said, as reported by Reuters.
Bright parasols, wooden sun loungers and expanses of golden sand suddenly appear every summer on what was once a traffic-clogged, 3.3 kilometer road along the banks of the River Seine in the heart of Paris. The so-called “Paris Plages” have been coming to the picturesque waterside location since 2016, after Mayor Anne Hidalgo, following two years of consultation, decided to take the controversial step of closing the road to motor vehicles. “This used to be such a stressful corner of the city,” says Françoise Genet, 38, sipping on a glass of lemonade as her two boys dig around in the sand. “It’s not quite the Côte d’Azur, but now I almost feel like I’m on vacation here.” Under Mayor Hidalgo, Paris has done as much as any city in the world to wage a war on cars amid a growing awareness of the damaging impact they have on cities.
The plan to redevelop the tower area in time for the 2024 Olympics would have created tourist facilities near the famous landmark but also reduced traffic and increased green space. However, Parisians were concerned about the fate of trees near the tower, some of them a century or more old. “We reject the felling and endangerment of dozens of healthy trees, in particular the 200-year-old and 100-year-old trees, which really are the city’s green lungs,” a petition circulated by four environmental groups read, as France 24 reported. The plan to redevelop the area around the tower was known as the OnE Paris project, according to RFI. It would have been designed by U.S. architect Kathryn Gustafson and was championed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo during her 2020 reelection campaign, according to The Guardian.
Over the course of the twenty-first century, Paris’s average summer temperature is expected to rise as much as 5.3°C (9.5°F) (or as little as 1°C [1.8°F]) and the number of days per year with temperatures higher than 30°C (86°F) could increase to forty-five days from the current average of ten days.4 Rising temperatures will come with more frequent and extreme storms, flooding, and drought. A 30 percent reduction in the flow of the Seine River is expected by 2080; along with the Marne River southeast of Paris, the Seine provides nearly half of the city’s drinking water.5 Ironically, the river also poses increasing flood risks as climate change increases the likelihood of extreme precipitation events. Paris is not alone.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to author and translator, Mitch Abidor, about the lessons from the student uprising in Paris in May 1968. "What happens in May is as a mass cultural, as a class event, its results are ambiguous but its results for the individual are enormous. There was a great and really funny example in the book when I asked everybody, "How did it change your life?" And so people told me about how "I discovered my voice. The first time I spoke it changed my entire being." Mitch Abidor’s book is entitled ‘May Made Me – An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France.’
On ‘Hottest Day In History Of France,’ World Told ‘Do Not Look Away’ As Police Tear-Gas Climate Campaigners In Paris
French riot police tear-gassed climate protesters in Paris on Friday as the county sweltered under record heat. Activists with Extinction Rebellion (XR) were occupying a bridge over the Seine to demand the French government declare a climate emergency and take necessary action to avert planetary catastrophe. "We need to civilly disrupt because, otherwise, nothing is going to be done," a British woman who took part in the protest told Euronews. Video shows the police teargassing the protesters at a close range and then forcibly trying to remove them from the scene.
Several hundred people have shown up for the ‘march of the mutilated’ in Paris, protesting police brutality and demanding a ban on the weaponry law enforcement uses to control demonstrators. People gathered in central Paris on Sunday, the day after ‘Act 29’ of the Yellow Vest protests. The demonstrators carried banners, showing injuries – such as lost eyes and limbs – various protesters have received over the past few months and demanding a ban of the ‘less-lethal’ weapons used by police.
Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators in Paris on Saturday as thousands gathered in the capital and staged road blockades across France to vent anger against rising fuel taxes and Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. Thousands of police were deployed nationwide to contain the demonstrations, including a tense protest at the foot of the Champs-Elysees where protesters wielded placards reading “Death to Taxes” and upturned a large vehicle. No-one was injured in the clashes, but six were arrested for “throwing projectiles”, Paris Police told the Associated Press.
Dozens of activists turned a Paris-based Apple Store into an emergency ward complete with x-rays, surgeons, bloody patients and even a waiting room to denounce tax evasion. The elaborate demonstration, staged by the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and for Citizen Action (ATTAC), on Saturday was in protest of Apple’s tax evasion practices and their impact on social services like the public health institutions in France. Protesters dressed in scrubs performed treatments on ‘patients’ on hospital beds or lying on the floor of the crowded store. Others chanted “we’re here, even if we do not want it, we’re here,” and marched around the store, while some played a giant game of Operation.
May 23, 2018 — Every so often an environmentally friendly building gives us a glimpse of the low-carbon future so many climate plans envision. With the development of Clichy-Batignolles, the city of Paris has created a groundbreaking eco-village filled with such buildings. Begun in 2002, the massive redevelopment project is about 30 percent complete and is slated to be finished in 2020. In 2007, Paris became one of the first municipalities in the world to adopt a climate action plan, setting goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions above and beyond those outlined by the European Union. Employing virtually all the tools in the green builders’ toolkit, Clichy-Batignolles aims to be tangible evidence of the city’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as well as an experimental laboratory for testing what’s possible in climate-sensitive redevelopment.
By Julia Conley for Common Dreams - As the Trump administration attempts to deflect questions from the press regarding Donald Trump Jr.'s controversial meeting during last year's campaign with a Russian lawyer, the president himself has kept a relatively low profile ahead of a scheduled trip to France this week—but the French aren't expected to give him a warm welcome as hundreds of demonstrators plan to form a "No Trump Zone" in Paris, where they will march in protest of Trump's visit and his policies. Trump was invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to attend France's national celebration of Bastille Day, where the two would honor the cooperative relationship their countries have shared on what would also be the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I. Trump accepted the invitation despite the two leaders' disagreement on issues including Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change policy, and a frosty exchange they shared at the NATO Summit in May. The group "Paris Against Trump" is behind the plans for a "No Trump Zone" in the Place de la Republique in the center of Paris. As the group wrote on Facebook, "Trump is not welcome in Paris.
By James P. Hare for Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - With Trump’s decision to formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement, he has put an end to months of apparent indecision. This withdrawal does not dissolve the agreement, which still includes nearly every nation on the planet, but it is hard to imagine how an already weak agreement can be expected to slow—not to mention reverse—greenhouse gas emissions without the participation of the United States. Seeing this decision as anything other than a nail in the coffin of the global climate regime is nothing but wishful thinking. For an administration that has promoted a seemingly unending series of bad policies—from healthcare to immigration to militarism to the unceasing transfer of wealth from working people to the wealthy—this may be its worst. When future generations look back at the harm done by this president, they may remember this as his greatest crime. This is not to minimize the damage of his other policies or of the racism, xenophobia, and misogyny that drove his campaign and brought him into the White House, but climate change is the ultimate issue. It will affect everyone while exacerbating existing inequalities, and we only have one chance to get it right.
By Ross Domoney for ROAR Magazine - Heavy clashes erupt at May Day demonstrations in Paris ahead of a historic election that will see the neoliberal Macron square off against the neo-fascist Le Pen.
By Ericka Schiche for Occupy - The banlieues, suburbs existing beyond the Périphérique on the outskirts of Paris, are part of a complex socioeconomic and cultural world which is seldom viewed outside the context of its issues and problems. It is a place only its working class residents truly know, and their stories often do not mirror the scenes in La Haine. With his 1960 black and white short film "L'Amour existe," referenced by Luc Sante in his book The Other Paris, Maurice Pialat introduced the banlieue not as the regressive dystopian zone it is frequently described as these days, but simply as a place to live and enjoy life.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams - French police unleashed tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators Tuesday as tens of thousands packed the streets of Paris in an outpouring of opposition to the government's anti-labor agenda. The CGT labor union, which helped organized the march, hoped Tuesday's mobilization would be the largest since protests launched over new labor standards, which allow employers to more easily fire workers and create precarious, lower paid positions in place of permanent contracts. "I’ve been to all the demos since March because I want to live in dignity, not just survive," Aurelien Boukelmoune, a 26-year-old technician, told AFP in Paris. "I want the reforms to be withdrawn, pure and simple. Only then will it stop. For the government's sake, they should withdraw the law, otherwise we'll block the economy."