Sustainable urban planning and green cities are dominating in Paris, because of the leadership set forward by Mayor Anne Hidalgo. She is focused on changing the effects of climate change and preventing further damage. Mayor Hidalgo has many supporters who back her way of thinking. However, there are plenty of those who do not agree with her.
Residents complain that they are living with consistent noise from construction as workers are digging up streets and sidewalks to make way for bike lanes and other green activities. Her biggest enemies claim she is actually causing more harm than good. These new projects give people a place to ride their bikes or walk has caused more traffic congestion.
Though the mayor’s efforts have reduced the number of cars on the road, it has also been the cause of a major increase in pollution levels. A year before Mayor Hidalgo became the mayor of Paris, air quality levels rose only five days. This was in 2014. 2018 saw a larger number, from 15 to 22, depending on the location within the city.
The riverbanks align with separators made of granite for bikers and pedestrians to freely walk or ride without being near any cars. Many have expressed their unhappiness, but she has not let up on her attempts. In fact, she is working on building urban forests, which will put trees on riverbanks and throughout prominent areas in Paris, such as The Hotel de Ville, Opera Garnier, and the Gare de Lyon train station.
Leading Women in Business and Mobility
Mayor Anne Hidalgo has proved to be a strong, innovative woman who will embrace change and move towards getting it done, even if that means people oppose her views and actions. She is up for election this year and plans to move forward with her ideas that many are against, such as when she made sections of the highway near Right Bank of the Seine into a park. Though she may get criticism, she has had a hand in making Paris the 10th most bike-friendly city in the world.
Mayor Hidalgo is one of many women who are forward-thinking and in leadership. Fiona Campbell is also dedicated to planning for biking in the city. Campbell is Manager of Cycling Strategy in Sydney, Australia. She has been responsible for building more cycleways, which, in the last 6 years, has led to double the number of people riding their bicycles.
Kathryn King is the Urban Mobility Manager at the New Zealand Transport Agency. Specifically, she is in charge of the development of programs that will make more walkways and paths for pedestrians as well as cyclists.
Each of these women seeks to make a cleaner, safer world. They are leading the way in the ever-changing mobility scene and setting the pace for future leaders to do the same.