“Mayors are confronted with many challenges including globalisation, climate change and also the questions of solidarity, inclusion of vulnerable populations and refugees. The Champion Mayors Initiative coalition enables the pooling of perspectives and experiences, which is something very positive.”
– Mayor Anne Hidalgo
First elected in March 2014, and re-elected in 2020, 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 all of 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.
Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on young people and students
With remote classes, Parisian students are in a vulnerable situation, facing the loss of student jobs, remote classes in small dwellings, and the risk of social isolation. The city of Paris is supporting students by ensuring food distribution and providing psychological support within its youth facilities and health centres. Finally, the city is embarking on a process of destigmatising mental health through a communication campaign throughout Paris and has increased its financial support to associations and training organisations to support mental health.
Paris vaccination campaign
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign started in January 2021 for Parisians over 75 years old, to control the spread of the virus in the capital. The 19 vaccination centres opened on January 18th and have a theoretical capacity of providing 25,000 vaccination doses per week. The city manages all last-mile logistics by arranging the transportation of vials from the AP-HP central pharmacy to each of the 19 centres. In addition, a call for volunteers was launched via the Fabrique de la Solidarité (Solidarity Factory) to provide information to users.
Champion Mayor Hidalgo is standing on an ambitious programme promoting the idea of the 15-minute city, where essential services are on or within 15 minutes from residents’ doorsteps. The plan aims to enlarge green spaces and playgrounds available for residents by rethinking the use of a number of existing facilities such as schoolyards and imagining new spaces, such as citizen kiosks or social sport clubs. The plan also aims to lower pollution by reducing road space available to private vehicles. The aim of the ‘ville du quart d’heure’ is to create socially and economically mixed districts to improve the overall quality of life for residents and to ensure an ‘ecological transformation’ of the capital.
The mayor of Paris wants to create a mixed public-private real estate company to offer affordable rentals to the middle classes. The company will have a budget of €6 billion – including €1 billion from the City of Paris, €2 billion from public investors and €3 billion from the private sector. The company will offer housing with rents 20% below the current market price. “We want to raise €20 billion to buy back buildings, transform them and offer them for rent to the middle classes. Our ambition is to reclaim around 30,000 housing units in the central districts where we lost a lot of housing to Airbnb,” said Mayor Hidalgo.
Nearly 350,000 visitors with disabilities will be welcomed to Paris for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Through the ‘Olympic Transformations’ program, the city intends to speed up the accessibility of the capital and develop parasport practice. The City of Paris will accelerate the city’s efforts to conduct a project designed for, and with, people with disabilities and whose benefits will last beyond 2024. Fifteen pilot districts, located around the Olympic and Paralympic sites in Paris, such as major railway stations and squares will provide local services, including hotels, shops, schools, health services, administrative, cultural or sports services. This approach of universal design will, at the end of the Games, gradually be extended to the whole of Paris. The city will also offer training for people with disabilities, in collaboration with APF-France disability.