Olympics windfall brings prospects of happy days to Paris suburbs

Olympics naysayers would be given short shrift at the moment in and around the Paris suburbs of Le Bourget and Dugny.

Following the formal launch a €650 million regeneration project of 70 hectares, the self and the external perception of this flat plains hinterland some 20 kilometres to the north of Paris will undergo an existential change.

The new Gymnase Marie Paradis – named in homage of the first woman to climb Mont Blanc – forms the centrepiece of a revamped sports complex in the Le Bourget end of the grandly titled Cluster des Médias.

Cross a new footbridge over the A1 motorway into Dugny and voilà Le Plateau and L’Air des Vents – two tranches of land dotted with slick new apartment blocks providing just over 1,000 new abodes in what has been anointed the Village des Médias.

Aptly named too. For the first technicians will arrive from abroad over the next few days to use the homes as lodgings while they toil at the nearby International Broadcast Centre at the Le Bourget Exhibition Centre during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Once they’ve all gone home, the homes will be spruced up and sold as part of the fabled legacy strand of the contemporary Olympics extravaganza.


“It's essentially an opportunity for people from Dugny to buy a home ... especially those who couldn't necessarily afford one,” said Quentin Gesell, the mayor of Dugny.

“It's a chance for people from Dugny as well as from all over the Seine Saint Denis region to get larger homes to accommodate their growing families."

Gesell, though, was happily landlocked and loaded to enjoy the future.

Read more on RFI English

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