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What could “Ugly France” shopping areas look like in the future?

No more “ugly France”.

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What could “Ugly France” shopping areas look like in the future?

No more “ugly France”. In any case, this is the government's stated ambition, with its plan to transform commercial zones presented this Monday by ministers Olivia Grégoire (Commerce) and Christophe Béchu (Ecological Transition). These areas on the outskirts of cities often have the same appearance: main roads lined with advertising billboards, “shoebox”-shaped stores surrounded by huge parking lots. For the executive, this model is “obsolete”, both from an environmental, economic and urban planning perspective.

The plan presented on Monday aims to beautify these territories and make them real places to live. In order to better understand the planned developments, the executive has made available images showing four commercial areas today, and what they could look like tomorrow, once the work is completed.

In this first example of a commercial zone to be reinvented, the parking lot would be greatly reduced, to make way for more greenery and a square, which could become a living space. The supermarket, on the right of the first image, would be rebuilt to accommodate wooden housing nearby.

In the montage above, the executive imagines that the stores in this commercial area would be brought together in a single two-story building, which would even accommodate terraces. As for the traffic lanes, they would be “renatured” to make room for pedestrians. The car parks would be hidden by “plant barriers”, one (on the right) being covered with photovoltaic panels, the other (on the left) meshed with trees.

In this other example, the parking lot on the left would be replaced by an urban park, offering direct access to the sea. The roadside businesses (on the right) would give way to mixed buildings, made up of new businesses on the ground floor. roadway and housing above.

This latest before/after shows an aerial view of the major transformations that certain commercial areas could experience in the coming years: more vegetation, reduced and hidden parking lots, housing, as well as businesses on several floors in order to take up less surface area. ground.

However, you will have to be patient before seeing these futuristic projections come to life. Such a project, we recognize in Olivia Grégoire's office, will extend over several decades.

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