Paris 2024 Olympic Games organisers are facing opposition from local residents and environmental groups after laying out plans to build a media village in a city park.
Georges-Valbon park has been chosen as the location to build the media centre which will accommodate up to 4000 journalists and technicians during the summer event. Once the games are over, the space will be transformed into an eco-district, consisting of 20% social housing.
Last week, Solideo, the company responsible for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games construction sites, acquired the land. The firm purchased the land for around €6.9 million but local inhabitants have now filed an appeal against the Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis on the basis that the plans would mean ‘definitive artificialisation’ of the park.
A statement from one of the opposition groups issued to L’Équipe read: “These plots, allocated for decades to leisure and sports, festivals, these green and wooded spaces with their biodiversity, their fauna and flora, will be destroyed and sold in batches to concrete mixers and developers.”
By spring 2024, organisers aim to have 700 housing units and shops up and ready as part of the first phase of the construction plans, having already said that they hoped work could commence on 30 September once the appropriate building permits had been obtained.
However, the appeal, which has been backed by environmental groups such as MNLE 93 and Collective pour le Triangle de Gonesse, could delay proceedings.
“All the procedures were done within the rules and in transparency,” the department responded to the appeal. “If we had done something temporary, the environmental impact would have been very questionable and no one would have understood that we are not taking advantage of the Games to leave a legacy and have more housing.”