Futuribles Journal n° 401

Économie, emploi - Territoires, réseaux

Paris and the French Disease: On the Inextricable Connection between Urban and National Economies


Introducing the dossier on “Greater Paris” published in this issue, Canadian professor Mario Polèse takes an external look at Paris’s place among the world’s great cities. Expressing surprise that the city isn’t the economic capital of Europe, given its geographical position and other assets, he offers various strands of explanation, first relating to language, but, more importantly, to economics and regulation. Speculating on the role Greater Paris might play in improving the place of the French capital in the new economy, he stresses the rigidities that currently deter the establishment of start-up companies in the capital (particularly in the property field), even though there are considerable resources in terms of scientific and technological research in the Île-de-France region (France’s “Silicon Valley” on the Plateau de Saclay). He concludes by proposing two possible scenarios for the capital region –assuming the development of Greater Paris and with a time-horizon of 2030– depending on whether or not genuine structural economic changes are made in France to attract and retain talent.

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