Car park and car architect Simone?

@Cyrille Weiner

Parking is part of our lives to such an extent that architects are still building large, sometimes very beautiful ones, all over France. Clear buildings made to last. Urbanism dedicated to the car until 2070, a fatality? What if it really depended more on the car than the garage?

On a beautiful spring day, we had to get up early, as always when it comes to the mountains, to discover with Isabel Hérault the car park delivered a few weeks earlier, in Chambéry (Savoy), by the agency Hérault Arnod , a courtesy call. to sum up.

The topic is interesting. The issue of parking, especially in the city center, is controversial today. The Hérault-Arnod project has not escaped this and symbolizes current debates and social problems. “The calls were very tense, ‘No to the car park’ became an election campaign issue “Remembers Isabel Hérault. After the municipal elections, the PS and the Greens arrived at the town hall and stopped the project, which was already on the third floor …

In Chambéry everyone agrees that there is a real need for ” treat “The car. If Grenoble, below the valley is paved with mountains, as the poet says, Chambéry, in the heights, is covered with cars. This is easily explained, as no one descends from the mountain on horseback. Knowing that there is never a good place in the city to build a new car park, how to give it an urban vocation and try to restore quality in the city center? Hence the importance of architects without a doubt. .

In short, in Chambéry, the newly elected officials stopped the work, organized a public consultation, asked for images according to three scenarios: the last floors transformed into public space; stop the three-story project; the original project.

There were two public meetings. The architect, originally from Bourg-d’Oisans (Isère), in the mountains, but now in Paris where she travels by bicycle and public transport, to point out the hypocrisy of her interlocutors who all came … by car! ” I decided to defend the project, explain it to angry people, and it didn’t go so wrong she says today.

The architects of Chambéry were very friendly and supported me, the CAUE organized a visit to the site for everyone. The Liberated Dauphiné has written quite laudatory articles. All of this turned off the bombs, and in the end we did the project as planned “, welcomes Isabel Hérault.

However, stopping the site for several months no doubt cost. ” too crazy for local taxpayers, the car park and its Belvedere are today a work of art, at least in Chambéry a contemporary marker, which is certainly valid, beyond its intrinsic aesthetic qualities, for all large car parks.

In fact, parking lots are plentiful. To speak only of the last ones I have seen happen in just three years: the Neustria relay car park southeast of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique); Parking silo at Sens Hospital (Yonne), designed by the Patriarch agency; Shared car park in Paris-Saclay delivered by GaP Architectes (this work is part of a larger real estate complex totaling 75,000 m² SDP of owner-occupied housing, student housing, social housing and shops. In short, some consider that many of these people will be coming by car). Parking Matabiau Ramblas de Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), by Taillandier Architectes Associés (TAA), delivered in 2020 at the top of the alleys Jean Jaurès, the Champs Elysées in Toulouse, 400 spaces in infrastructure on the subway tunnel. Or, still in Toulouse, from the same agency, the “Marché Parking” Victor Hugo, built by the architect Pierre Laffitte in the late 1950s not far from the Place du Capitole and renovated in 2019.

I’m still thinking about the K Architecture car park in Ile-Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), on the edge of a new district that is therefore practiced on foot, or even what you just delivered in Bordeaux (Gironde) by Ferrier Marchetti Studio in the wet docks.

This list is obviously not exhaustive, everyone has seen a new car park built near their home. All are justified, with more or less good faith of course, and all more or less well drawn, but all are the result of urban thinking that involves the long term. Thought more or less realized elsewhere; However, the city of Chambéry must now remove existing ground parking lots to make things better. Otherwise, should you imagine that developers would spend between € 10 and € 20 million without thinking about it, and without knowing that they are compromising their city and its operation for 50 years? There are still not only neuneus or corrupt between elected officials and parking developers!

It is true that the question of the car in the city certainly requires different solutions depending on whether it is raised in Chambéry or in Paris. But it is enough to pass the ring road of Paris, and in general that of the metropolis, to be convinced that the car is still many years ahead, simply because a means of transport is now absolutely necessary for the man. The car has been accessible and democratized for 60 years, it will take at least as long to find an alternative. In the meantime, obviously, it’s about building the most environmentally friendly car parks possible, not banning the car.

That is why the speech of the candidate Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, on urban forests and the existential enemy car, hardly resonated in the country, neither in the forest mountains nor in the cereal campaigns. So much so that it only attracted 1.75% of French people, 2.25% to Paris.

However, the muddy 4X4 with the bullring in Chambéry is easy to understand. On the other hand, the brand new 4X4 with bullbar in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, with its Nickel Crit’air sticker because it carries a lot of electric batteries, which challenges the imagination, even the most cynical. Imbecility and me-as-tu-vuism should have consequences for their perpetrators as they have catastrophic consequences for the planet.

Actually, the issue is not whether or not we need cars but what car we want. This is what will condition our lifestyles, our cities, our parking lots and (in part) our future. The electric car whose “corporate” and governmental communication is boring us? Admittedly, it’s crazy.

How to produce all this necessary electricity without more coal, oil, gas or other fossil fuels that we KNOW are not lacking – new projects number in the billions of tons of CO² – but lead us to ruin, if not to destruction? annihilation? With nuclear power and the 14 new EPRs promised by Emmanuel Macron, the green candidate during the second round of the presidential election?

He’s a nerd but among the reasons for caution, a nuclear reactor, a fortiori an EPR, should be cooled, most often with water. Today, at the exit of the Chinon power plant, the Loire has gained a few degrees. Add new EPRs to the line, global warming and drought, which is already getting worse today in May 2022 around Chinon, and the Loire will soon have become so hot that it will serve as a biodiversity reserve for fish exotic. And in anticipation of these EPRs planned for Saint Glinglin, think today about power outages in the event of high temperatures or extreme cold that are now inevitable.

Meanwhile, the country is constantly building heavier and heavier cars, due to green batteries, on the pretext that they are electric and filled with rare earths. The other side of the coin is that with all this almost free electricity – 14 EPR my brave lady and my brave gentleman realize – you will soon have to be frugal as you have to choose between the autonomous electric car or the air conditioning . and choose your blackout times in advance on the Internet.

The expensive car lined with expensive electronics? Really, if the driver – what a word, a driver, someone who drives and is responsible for himself – can’t park without the digital help of his iodine screen from the planet Zorg at a phenomenal price because it’s connected to fifty satellites And sounds. sounds so loud that they give the impression of being blind in the land of the blind, because this driver has nothing to do behind the wheel of a car!

The solutions exist, however, here is one, which we have already mentioned *: for Paris, for example, all Anne Hidalgo has to do is ban all cars UNDER 25 or 30 years old and the problem is solved. And how! Yes, ban cars NEW in the city!

Let me see. With this rule, Paris intramuros will be removed tomorrow from traffic jams and pollution so that cars over twenty or twenty-five years old are not so much in circulation. Above all, which is rare to be expensive, these old vehicles would become for the rich, overnight, so to speak, a commodity quickly sought after regularly. The poor, who own them, would then get an excellent price from their old funds, enough to buy, even if it cost a fortune, a new hybrid or electric or hydrogen car, in any case much less polluting than the ‘current. make these long commutes from suburb to suburb. With this redistribution system, it would no longer be a flow from the rich city center to the poor suburbs, but a flood of cash! The rich will even be able, which the poor do not dare, to boast of their old low-carbon tire: in fact, the longer the use lasts, the better the carbon footprint. It would be an ecological incentive for everyone to keep their car.

Here’s another one, because without a doubt, the French car industry needs to be saved. Since we like standards in France, imagine that every new car put on the market in this country should weigh no more than a 4L or 2CV by 1960 and be so energy efficient (in production and operation ) while carrying four people, a dog. and luggage from Paris to Dakar and back.

In fact, on our well-paved and well-signposted roads, there is no need for rare earth or satellite assistance. Or at an extravagant speed, every new car in the territory will also be restricted to 130 km, including the shiny ones willing to pay dearly for me-you-vuism. Despite, or thanks to this limitation, it is certain that car manufacturers will be able to show imagination and innovation in frugality at the service of their well-understood interest if they are confident that they can continue to build cars for another 60 years. This is the case, there are already parking lots.

Christophe Leray

* See our editorial For Paris, a city of history, you need an arrow

Leave a Comment