The Central Park of Paris?

park georges valbon6km to the north-east of Paris, the Parc Georges-Valbon is so big that it spreads across the territories of five suburban towns. With the future Grand Paris aiming to redynamise the region, it is perhaps not surprising that such a facility should become one of the new focal points, and plans are afoot to transform it into the Central Park of Paris – much to the chagrin of local residents.

I decided to take a closer look at this immense haven of fields, lakes, forests and prairies – although even finding an access point already proved to be quite a challenge!

“Our ambition,” declared French star architect Roland Castro, “is to create a kind of parc Monceau for the people but forty times larger, and to give Parisians a reason to cross the périphérique motorway.” Castro, a veteran of transformation projects in the Paris suburbs, was describing his “30-year dream” which aims to mold the existing park into a key feature of the new Grand Paris.

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