Paris: the housing strategy at the heart of a functional and socially mixed ’15-minute’ city

07 Dec 2023

One could call it the ‘holy grail’ of today’s highly urbanized world.  The way authorities manage it shapes the way we live, including how  much public and green space we can benefit from, how we can move around,  what types of services we can find around us and most importantly what  kind of home we can access. Urban Land is a cornerstone of modern cities  and today’s focus point of ‘Making a house a home’. In the  third episode of our mini series dedicated to the ‘Housing 2030’ joint  international initiative of Housing Europe, UN Habitat and UNECE around  housing affordability, we’ll be looking at how one of the world’s major  cities, namely Paris is dealing with the question of land and how this  in effect influences the provision of social and affordable housing. To  do that, we’re privileged to have the view of a true expert.

Olivier Richard is Urban planner and Designer at APUR, the Paris Urbanism Agency,  a private body that has accompanied public urban policy since 1967. Its  mission is to document, analyse and develop forward looking strategies  which address the urban and societal evolution of Paris and Greater  Paris. Olivier Richard has been involved in the agency’s work for over  20 years and we contacted him to discuss the links between planning and  housing, between land and affordability at a time that Paris seems to be  undergoing a major transformation. What are the tools that the French  capital is deploying to improve the provision of affordable homes? Where  have the authorities been successful so far and what are the challenges  ahead? And finally, where does housing fit into the much-discussed  vision unveiled by Mayor Anne Hidalgo for the so-called ’15-minute  city’? Olivier Richard has all the answers.