Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning: Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions

By Willem Salet; Andy Thornley et al. | Go to book overview

17

Paris - Île-de-France region

Christian Lefèvre

The Paris-Île-de-France area dominates France, not only because Paris is the capital and as such contains the symbols and resources of political power, but also because it contains the economic and cultural power. No other European metropolis has the same importance vis-à-vis its nation-state, as is shown in table 17.1. The Paris area is considered by many (Kantor et al., 1997) as the model of the dirigist planner regime. If once there was some truth to this description, the ongoing changes which have been taking place for the last five years indicate that the Île-de-France can no longer be presented as the model of a state-controlled territory. Today, new actors are emerging at the local level who potentially challenge the state as the deus ex machina of the French capital. After a synthetic presentation of the socio-economic and political evolution of the Paris area, this chapter will focus on the changes taking place there, using the planning sector in a broad sense as an illustration of such changes.

Table 17.1 Some data regarding the weight of the Île-de-France region versus France in 2000

Numbers Île-de-France

Relative to France (%)

Population

10,952,000

18.6

Labour force

5,400,000

21.4

Foreign (non-French) population

39.0

Employment

5,000,000

21.9

GDP

29.0

Part of the national income tax

33.0

Number of students

550,000

25.0

Number of researchers

45.0

Source: IAURIF, 40 ans en Île-de-France, Etudes et Développement, 2001.

-287-

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