Feb 15th, 2016, 04:05 PM

Anne Hidalgo Aims To Reduce Paris' Arrondissements in Year 2020

By Eva Gudnason
Image Credit: Wikipedia
But you won't feel the change.

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who was elected Metropolitan Advisor this past December, plans to renovate Paris by shortening its arrondissements.

In 2020, Hidalgo intends to have the twenty arrondissements reduce to seventeen, by combining one, two, three, and four. 

One might be hesitant towards this, as it has been 157 years (161 in 2020) since the adoption of arrondissements. The first twelve districts were constructed on Oct. 11, 1795 and the remaining eight were later added due to a takeover of surrounding suburbs on June 16, 1859. 

However, according to Le Monde, the change may not be as grandiose as it sounds. Anne Hidalgo gave new details to the newspaper regarding the project. She expresses that, "il ne s'agit de supprimer l'arrondissement parisien [de fait les codes postaux actuels ne seraient pas modifiés] mais simplement d'unifier la représentation politique et l'organisation administrive des moins peuples... les habitants des arrondissements 'rapprochés' seraient représentés à compter de 2020 par un conseil d'arrondissements... présidé par un maire d'arrondissement ou 'maire de secteur'"

In translation: "[The project] does not remove the arrondissement [the postal codes do not change], but simply unify the political representation and administrative organization of the least populated... The inhabitants of the 'drawn together' arrondissements would be represented in 2020 by a board of districts...lead by a mayor of a borough or sector mayor."

Despite, Hidalgo's goal to bring a new (historical) level of democratic occupation in Paris and unity within the arrondissement mayors, I am not sure whether her visions will align with how things may develop.

There are a lot of aspects to be considered, the most important being the unique atmosphere of each arrondissement. Since one of the reasons for the convergence is small inhabitant numbers, it doesn't account for those areas being identical in atmospheres, cultural backgrounds, and diversity. It may be hard for the district mayor to satisfy all four arrondissements concerning a delicate topic, or if there's conflict between neighboring districts. It could be a  French version of West Side Story. Furthermore, the Marais in the 3e is a different atmosphere than the 1e. Inherently, this will also change touristic patterns. Due to the merging of the four areas, it will shift the dynamic of where the certain cool areas start and end, which is also one of the main reason a person might choose a place to stay. 

There is a reason why these arrondissements have stayed the same for many years... maybe some things are better left alone. 

If you aren't familiar with where each arrondissement is situated right now, here is a map:

Image credit: Wikipedia

Source: Le Monde