Harvard GSD names France's Grand Paris Express plan as the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design winner
By Josh Niland|
Tuesday, Dec 13, 2022
The Harvard GSD has announced the French Grand Paris Express transit project as the winner of the 14th biennial Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design.
The $50,000 reward was given to Société du Grand Paris, the government agency overseeing the project, which is the largest of its kind anywhere in the EU. The plan calls for the construction of 68 new stations along a 200 kilometers (124 miles) network of tacks that will ring the French capital by the time it becomes fully operational in the year 2030.
According to the jury, “The Grand Paris Express illustrates the life-changing potential of mobility infrastructure to transform a city and its region through carefully articulated design interventions.”
Once complete, it will service all three major airports in the Paris Metropolitan Region as well as over 2 million daily commuters traveling between 100 different communes that play host to 165,000 individual employers. The purpose of the plan is to reduce reliance on automobile transportation and improve mobility patterns in and around the capital, connecting a series of burgeoning developments and existing suburbs to the city in an untangled circut that also “generate new centralities within the knowledge-based economy.”
Harvard also commended the project’s economic contributions to the systemically underserved banlieues placed concentrically away from the center of Paris and use of highly sustainable materials such as low-carbon concrete in the delivery of the design, which is also heavily influenced by community input and participation.
“Infused with a dedication to experimentation, realized through constant negotiation between city officials, motivated designers, and mobilized citizens, and committed to educating other cities about implementation pathways, the Grand Paris Express sets a new standard for innovation in the field of urban design and the construction of sustainable territory.” the citation reads finally.
An exhibition showcasing different media related to the project will be on view at the GSD’s Druker Design Center from January 23rd to March 31st of 2023. The exhibition's public lecture and reception are scheduled for Thursday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Piper Auditorium.
More information, including past winners of the Green Prize, can be found here.
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