Since March 2014 Anne Hidalgo is the first female Mayor of Paris. Mayor Hidalgo has consistently championed inclusive growth in Paris, and since taking office, has made housing, sustainable economic development, and air quality the focal points of her vision for Paris, as she sees them as the keys to greater social equality. Anne Hidalgo believes that all the city’s 20 “arrondissements” must be involved to tackle current issues such as the informal economy, homelessness and refugees. She serves as the Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors.
In 2014, Mayor Hidalgo launched Reinventing Paris, an international competition inviting proposals for “innovative urban projects” to redevelop 23 sites across the French capital, with an eye towards addressing the effects of growing populations, global warming, and worsening inequality. In 2016, the 23 winning projects were announced, and construction will start in 2017. As a result of the competition, 1,341 new homes will be built by 2020, almost half of which will be social housing. The initiative demonstrates that social housing requirements do not necessarily discourage the private sector from investing in new developments. Reinventing Paris has proved so successful that Mayor Hidalgo has initiated a new competition to Reinvent the River Seine – spanning from Paris to the former industrial cities of Rouen and Le Havre in northern France.