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“The urbanization above the ring road is being put to a healthy halt, and that of its surroundings is seriously questioned”

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“The urbanization above the ring road is being put to a healthy halt, and that of its surroundings is seriously questioned”
Written by madishthestylebar

En the fight against air pollution, citizens can happily rely on administrative justice to spur politics on. Ten days before the decision of October 17, 2022 of the Council of State imposing on the government a new fine of 20 million euros for non-compliance with air quality standards in several areas in France, including Paris, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris reminded, on October 6, the mayor of Paris of her responsibilities with regard to environmental health and urban planning.

In this case, the mayor of Paris had issued two building permits for real estate complexes on slab, intended in particular for offices, homes and nurseries, with the particularity of spanning the ring road: the Thousand Trees project, near Porte Maillot, which is the busiest section of road in Europe, and the Ville multi -strata, near the Porte des Ternes.

Environmental case law

These permits were canceled by the administrative court on July 2, 2021, following appeals from, in particular, environmental protection associations and elected environmentalists. Cancellation therefore confirmed by the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris by two judgments of October 6 considering that the municipality should not have issued the building permits, under article R111-2 of the Town Planning Code which allows to refuse a project “likely to endanger public health”.

Read the decryption: Article reserved for our subscribers Ideas are multiplying to transform the Paris ring road

Indeed, the court held that “the displacement of pollutants from car traffic at the entrance and exit of the tunnels created by the projects will lead, in particular, to an increase in the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the surroundings, where apartment buildings are located and offices, as well as establishments open to the public, including a residence for the elderly and a crèche, even though these places are already experiencing high levels of pollutants, which may exceed the limit values”.

Several important lessons should be learned by local and national policy makers.

First, this judgment is fully in line with the development of environmental case law which aims to better protect the health of populations and will continue to grow. An interview of November 18, in the columns of World, with the Vice-President of the Council of State, Didier-Roland Tabuteau, confirms it: the insufficient action of political leaders in terms of climate or environmental health with regard to the objectives they have set themselves will now be sanctioned. In so doing, the administrative jurisdiction becomes “the judge of the credibility” of public action.

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