It’s a small victory for the gardeners of Aubervilliers, but still. For months, environmentalists have been trying to oppose the pharaonic project to build a swimming pool intended to host the 2024 Olympics in the capital, located on former allotments. On Thursday, February 10, the administrative court of appeal of Paris partly ruled in their favor.
Since the launch of the project to reduce 17 plots of allotments in Aubervilliers to nothing, activists and plot owners have mobilized. As the noose tightens, actions become more radical in hopes of challenging public authorities. On Wednesday, February 9, a handful of environmentalists tried everything by chaining themselves to construction equipment that had arrived at the site a little earlier. As a result, eight of them spent thirty-four hours in police custody.
But on the way out, they were greeted with good news. On Thursday, the Paris Administrative Court of Appeal moved towards activists challenging the contours of Plaine Commune’s Local Intermunicipal Urban Plan (PLUI). In his deliberation, he instructed Mathieu Hanotin (PS), President of the Territorial Public Institution of the Plaine Commune, “to initiate the procedure for amendment” of the PLUI, concerning “the western edge of the Gardens of Virtues exceeding the strictly necessary zones (…) for the creation of the Grand Paris Express station and the Olympic swimming pool”.
A first win
Thus, the territory has four months to propose a new version in accordance with the guidelines of the administrative jurisdiction. The part covered by this redevelopment concerns the exterior of the project, where a solarium and water activities would be set up. “A zone considered essential for the future economic equilibrium of the equipment”emphasizes the Parisian in his article.
“Two years after the start of this battle, it is a first judgment and a first victory,” commented Ziad Maalouf, one of the gardeners involved. It remains for the elected officials of Plaine Commune to assume their responsibilities. The verdict asks them to devote the strictly necessary land to the infrastructure planned on site, we have long proved that it is possible to build a metro station and an Olympic swimming pool without touching the gardens! †
The amended plan will therefore have to offer a smaller outdoor space. “Marginal” adjustments that might save some garden plots. Activists will have to wait until June 10, when the new PLUI will be voted, to know the fate of these precious islands of green…