A city of projects: Grand Paris, the 2024 Summer Olympics, and the jurisdictional negotiation of contemporary Paris
Geffroy, Damien Stephane
MetadataShow full item record
Paris' successful bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics arises in the midst of a grand rethinking of the politics of regional and local development in the Île-de-France region. The emerging ambition to advance a metropolitan model is fundamentally hindered by a historically persistent and burdensome institutional puzzle. Contravening the consensual political dogma that such intricate structure demands to be simplified, initiatives of metropolization prompted the establishment of a new administrative layer, the Métropole du Grand Paris (MGP). By advocating dynamics of cooperation, the MGP is the institutional manifestation of a State-led ambition to reinvent a detrimental power mosaic in the region. But limited resources, expertise, and jurisdictional authority prevent it from asserting relevance within the metropolitan conversation. Yet, the Olympic project provides the MGP with a compelling opportunity to manifest crucial competence and to significantly mature its authoritative influence. In this thesis, we explore the blending of the Grand Paris regional development project and the Olympic ambition by investigating the role of the 2024 Summer Olympics in the establishment of an ambitious yet fragile metropolitan model. We use key informant interviews and secondary sources such as news articles, bid books, and official documents to interrogate the way France is tackling, in the 21st century, the challenges of metropolization. Our evidence suggests that Paris as a city of projects fundamentally corresponds to a ground for experimentation that puts institutions and infrastructure at the forefront of discussions. It appears clear that the Games correspond to a grand excuse to legitimize investments in ongoing projects (specifically the Grand Paris Express) and to consolidate State-led spatial reforms with little risk of dissension. The 2024 Summer Olympics are the State's cautious means to inquire the feasibility of a grand ambition without committing to an overhaul of the jurisdictional structure of metropolization.
General Audience Abstract
After multiple failed French mega event bids, Paris was elected as host city of the 2024 Summer Olympics. While ostensibly the 2024 Summer Olympics are linked to Paris, the spatial requirements of the event explicitly suggest Paris’ incapability to accommodate specialty infrastructure within its own city limits. Ultimately, an important negotiation must take place in order to identify potential sites suitable for olympic facilities while also considering the production of a significant urban, economic, and social heritage. As such, the 2024 Summer Olympics emerge as an opportunity to investigate the way France is tackling, in the 21st century, the challenges of metropolization. This paper examines the blending of the Grand Paris regional development project and the Olympic ambition. Relying on interviews with key informants and secondary sources such as news articles, bid books, and city planning documents, it specifically addresses the implications of organizing the distribution of jurisdictions in a complex multi-layered structure of governance and a desire for political legitimacy.
- Masters Theses