Paris Region by 2030

02 March 2015Contact

The Paris Region’s development master plan for 2030 (SDRIF 2030), approved on 27th December 2013, was drawn up by the Paris Region in conjunction with the French state and involved numerous planning players in the region. It sets out the conditions for creating a pleasant, attractive, socially integrated and robust region.

Why does the Paris Region need a development master plan?

The determination to keep the growth of the Paris agglomeration under control led to the enactment of a “development plan for the Paris Region” by a law dated 14th May 1932. Since then, the development of the Paris Region has always been governed by a regional plan. Although the plan’s initial objectives are still relevant, the underlying motivations and the responses to them have changed profoundly. The Paris Region, which accounts for over 30% of France’s GDP, is now one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, with 12 million inhabitants. This highly attractive area is the second largest region in Europe in terms of foreign direct investment inflows and the world’s number one tourist destination. Sustaining this dynamic and organising the associated flows while protecting people’s day-to-day quality of life and preserving the environment means setting out a vision and mobilising the resources to reconcile, prioritise and coordinate the relevant public policies. Most of the world’s largest metropolitan areas either already have or are re-establishing a planning system, of which the SDRIF is a famous example.

How was this 2030 master plan for the Paris Region produced?

The SDRIF 2030 is the first decentralised plan for the Paris Region. It was commissioned by the Paris Region. The French state was involved in the development of the plan to ensure its legitimacy and take account of national issues, as was the Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESER).
Numerous public bodies contributed to the design of the plan (counties, municipalities, intermunicipal authorities, chambers of commerce, etc.) by taking part in working groups, technical projects, steering committees of a more political nature, public debates and formal opinions. Partners in the Paris basin were also involved in the discussions, particularly during the interregional conference.
This process differed from previous ones, above all, in respect of the role given to private-sector partners and citizens via public enquiries, of course, but also throughout the plan’s development by the sending of questionnaires and the holding of “citizens’ conferences” and “citizens’ round tables”. Discussions and a learning process were therefore key features of the SDRIF’s development.

What are its objectives?

In terms of improving the day-to-day lives of people in the Paris Region, the SDRIF plans to:

  • Build 70,000 homes a year and renovate the existing stock to resolve the housing crisis.
  • Create 28,000 jobs a year and place more emphasis on mixed housing/employment areas.
  • Guarantee access to high-quality amenities and public services.
  • Design transport systems to reduce dependence on the car.
  • Improve the urban space and its natural environment.

In order to improve how the Paris Region functions as a metropolitan area, the SDRIF sets out plans to:

  • Boost the economic dynamism of the Paris Region.
  • Support a transport system that increases its appeal.
  • Develop attractive amenities.
  • Ensure sustainable management of the natural ecosystem and increase the robustness of the Paris Region.

What does it contain?

Planning has undergone a series of shifts in recent years. There have been changes to content, which is no longer strictly limited to land use. It includes cross-cutting elements related to the drive for sustainable development and how the concept is implemented in different ways, favours a qualitative rather than a quantitative approach, and justifies and explains as much as it regulates.
The SDRIF 2030 is an illustration of this new approach to planning, which works on a range of spatial levels and timescales: from vision to operation; from standards to scheduling; and from assessment to evaluation. The development project, considered in light of its effects on the environment, is clearly identified and the various elements needed to implement it, from standards to support policies, are set out in detail.
For ease of reading, the SDRIF 2030 is split into six booklets, which link together and complement each other to form a single whole.

What is its scope?

The SDRIF prevails over the Territorial Coherence Plan (SCOT1) and, in its absence, the local urban development plan (PLU2) or any similar document on the basis of mutual compatibility. Similarly, it prevails over the Paris Region Transport Plan (PDUIF), the Regional Housing and Accommodation plan (SRHH) and the Metropolitan Housing and Accommodation Plan (PMHH). In turn, it must comply with or take into account various higher-ranked provisions, for example, Flood Risk Prevention Plans (PPRI) and the Regional Ecological Consistency Plan (SRCE).
The requirement for mutual compatibility is less stringent than an obligation of compliance and provides a means of linking regional interests with the local context. It means that the documents or decisions concerned must “enable the objectives and options set out in the SDRIF to be implemented during the period of application” of the said documents or decisions and “not compromise the objectives and options planned for a subsequent phase”. The requirement for compatibility “must be viewed as applying to the fundamental options and essential objectives of planning and development that form the basis for the overall consistency of the guidelines set out in the SDRIF”3.
Unless otherwise indicated, the SCOTs or, where these do not exist, PLUs that exist when the SDRIF is approved have until 27 December 2016 to align themselves with the latter4. Numerous sector-specific policies (housing, biodiversity, transport, etc.) therefore hinge on the Paris Region’s 2030 master plan. Its cross-cutting nature and regional scale make it a coordination tool for public action and investments. As a result, it has been the main framework for the negotiations on the 2015-2020 planning contract, which sets the timetable for planning and development actions funded by the state and the Paris Region.
The SDRIF is a long-term master plan, which requires that the partnerships that were formed for the development of the project remain in place throughout its implementation. Ensuring it is sustainable will require educating people and ensuring its implementation is monitored using spatial, quantitative and qualitative data. This work has already begun and plans are in place to prepare for the first evaluation, which will take place five years after the approval of the plan, i.e. in 2019. Our society is changing constantly and undergoing a number of major transitions. The aim of this planning is not to ossify or constrain the way the region functions. It is to ensure the sustainability of the major guiding principles of development, by helping to adapt our tools to new patterns of behaviour and new needs.

Evaluation of the Great Paris Region master plan (SDRIF2030) and the chronological context

The SDRIF2030 is the reference framework up until 2030 for public policies and all the actors involved in land-use planning. In order to respond to the rapid changes of our society, its objectives may be subjected to adjustments consistent with a vivid and diligent planning. This is why a first assessment of the master plan will take place in 2019, five years after its approval. It will be performed at a convenient time, one year before the revision of numerous plans and regional programs. This evaluation will assess the effects of the regional project and will integrate an analysis of the evolution of the global context, taking into account an implementation of a necessary partnership, respecting the French principle of non-supervision between the different communities.

Differentiate the follow-up assessment

The monitoring is a continuous process of collecting and analyzing information that takes into account the context, institutional evolutions, legislative and policies, and the achievements of the actors of the development, of the region and its partners. It is based on the quantitative and qualitative indicators, and their spatial translation. This monitoring allows you to appreciate the methods of the implementation of the master plan, by measuring the state of progress of the projects, and then by comparing the results with the stated objectives. Far from being a simple observation, it must allow for the production of analytical, warning and recommendation notes to prepare and justify any possible corrective measures.
The assessment will produce a critical review of SDRIF 2030. It will focus on the effects of which it is the cause and on the needs to which the public intervention has to answer. The monitoring, based on the continuous operation of the information collected, is a tool for this assessment.

Work with the complementarity data

The Paris Region has many observatories administering thematic databases related to the development. By combining a large number of actors in order to mobilise resources and expertise, the objective of monitoring is to identify a limited number of indicators by backing up with existing data and through working their complementarity. It is also an opportunity to reflect on regional synergies for data sharing, from their collection right up to its operation, and develop innovative tools and indicators.

Defining the monitoring field

The SDRIF 2030 addresses in a transversal manner, numerous areas (housing, transportation, economy, environment, etc.) and has several functions:

  • Document the planning with which the territorial coherence plans (SCOT) and, failing SCOT, the local urbanism plans (PLU) or the communal maps must be compatible.
  • Document the planning that sets objectives for the regional policies, before dealing with the various contracts and sectoral plans.
  • Document value bearers (such as solidarity), principles (such as proximity) concepts (such as human density), to disseminate widely to all the public policies and the professional practices.

Its implementation keeps to its translation in the local urbanism documents, as well as in the framework of the regional and local public policies and the partnerships and cooperation’s forged in the territory. It depends as much on its regulatory application as on its appropriation. The scope of monitoring and assessment of the master plan is difficult to understand. In this regard, it is necessary to prioritise what action should be considered for the plan.

A logical tree was developed to break down the objectives of the plan, to prioritise and to retrace the coherence of an action: the strategic objectives that formulate the anticipated global impacts; the specific and operational objectives that clarify these strategic objectives and sets out the expected achievement. In order not to complicate the logic tree and the monitoring plan in general, the operational objectives are not included. The logical tree is organized according to three reading axes:

  • The issues that show a particular acuity in the Paris Region: housing crisis, economic dynamism, rebalancing at multiple levels (regional re-balancing east / west to the functional diversity by neighbourhood).
  • The fundamental principles of the territory planning that the SDRIF 2030 will assume: increase the density, ensure an attractive transport system, preserve open spaces, sustainably manage the natural resources.
  • The emerging approaches concerning the new themes in the Paris Region (urban heat islands) or known issues, but that until recently were not dealt with in the planning of the territory documents and the planning (optimise the metropolitan logistics operations, mitigate the risks and pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions).

The dimensions of the monitoring plan

The monitoring focuses on measuring three chronological dimensions: implementation, effect, impact. Starting from the observation of the achievements, this consists of eventually examining the achievement or non-achievement of a strategic objective. The context indicators are used to monitor the overall situation of the regional territory and the development of the external parameters that could influence the achievement of an objective.
The regulatory guidance is the translation tool dedicated to the objectives of the SDRIF 2030 in the town planning documents. Other plans, devices, contracts and public policies also constitute the means for its implementation, and participate more or less directly to the achievement of its thematic and sectoral particularly mention the State-Region Plan contract 2015-2020 (CPEM 2015-2020), the funding tool for the realisation of certain projects registered in the master plan.

The territorialisation through four geographical entities

The SDRIF 2030 is a document of spatial planning, whose objectives and guidelines should be applied locally. In order to territorialise the monitoring plan, the choice was made to decline certain indicators in the four geographical entities - the framework of the regional spatial project - defined in the “Regulations of the SDRIF Guidelines” (booklet 3).
The expert groups of the region, the state and the Paris Region Development and Urban Planning Institute (IAU îdF) were set up in order to define the outlines of the implementation report, to take stock of the exploitable indicators and decide which ones to retain in accordance to their availability and their periodicity. The selected indicators showed a variable initial year owing to the heterogeneity of the data used and their update deadlines. The experts also helped to provide an overview of the tools and the public policies that contribute to the implementation of these objectives.
Given the continuous nature of the exercise and the need to have more hindsight in relation to certain topics, the monitoring device is bound to grow year after year, to eventually be extended to all strategic objectives. The monitoring of the implementation of the master plan in its “town planning document” dimension, constitutes a major axis, the plan to be finalised must, in particular, allow to collect and analyse the transcription of the regulatory guidance in the town planning documents, as indicators of its direct implementation.

1. The SCOT is the forward-looking document which sets out the general guidelines for spatial planning, across the area covered by the plan (including several municipalities or one or several inter-municipalities).
2. The PLU, which covers the area of one or more municipalities, sets out the urban development rules to be abided.
3. Source: opinion of the Conseil d’État (Council of State), 5th March 1991.
4. The Urban Planning Code provides for a three-year period to ensure compatibility once the SDRIF has been approved.