Tue 19 Dec, 2006 12:43 am
Actually, that's the way many planning departments in may (European) town and cities do their job :wink:
It's unfortunate for H&M, especially when their competitors are there. (I wish the article had a picture of Nouvel's proposal.) It's possible that the planning department is exercising prejudice, but maybe not. There is a common-enough cycle in urban development where a seedy locale becomes artsy and then trendy, landlords hike the rents, the big retailers come in and shoulder out the small shops. Without services and restaurants, the area becomes very sensitive to the slightest shift in economics. One large retailer decides that the cost of rent/staffing is not worth it and starts a domino effect, with all the other retailers leaving as well. But now the architecture of the big boxes is non-conducive to the revivifying small retailer, and so the area becomes worse than it started. Good planning can prevent this, no?
The better shopping centres, which I am more familiar with than urban planning, have whole departments dedicated to finding the right mix and deciding adjacencies (who will be next to whom) -- all with the aim of creating a lively, regenerating community.
The reason - given by the CDEC (Commission départementale de l'environnement commercial) - is that there are already 39% of all shops on the Champs selling clothes/clothing and nine greater shops occupy already 13.900 m².
That is thought too be plenty for Paris.
"Banal" makes sense. H & M is a cool chain store and everything, but it's a chain store. I'd hate to see the Champs Elysées mallified.
H&M might be cool for under-30's, I think. :wink:
I'm glad that they finally stopped changing the character of the Champs .... and has taken quite some time until that was realised.
I'm glad about the decision. I like a good planning department (some, in my opinion, have been benighted, some times.) My saying it is an interesting decision - since money often rules, and this is a case of money and building style - was a touch of admiration.
Wise planning can happen in the US; certain structures are not allowed along x corridors, and various kinds of zoning are sometimes a good thing (sometimes not). Some design review boards have savvy like this planner.
I'll add that in the best scenario there would have been a policy established before the other Chains built there. This is now a bit of the horse following behind the cart. Still I'm glad for the decision.
A big report about this in today's Guardian:
Report online: Champs Elysées 'declining into Oxford Street'
Joe Dassin? relative of Jules???
Well, from my pov, a city has a right - if established early- to choose anything, along its main streets.
Do I really think that, I dunno. I'm theoretically a person of license as a city planner, though I haven't worked in a planning department (have done some city planning design.)
One wants to be a pope here, a Sixtus who did the Rome goosefoot, for better or worse.