July 28 2014

How A Group of Journalists Are Promoting the Suburbs of Paris, Île-de-France

A map of Paris' suburbs highlighting relevant locations and events. Credit: Enlarge your Paris, Paris, France

They adopted a slogan that sounds like a magical remedy and they promise to send people exclusive information by email. The site Enlarge your Paris, which was created by a handful of journalists living in the suburbs surrounding Paris, offers to do what its name suggests. For the past year, the site’s small volunteer team has been taking people beyond Paris’ famous Boulévard Périphérique ring road in order to show them that recreation and culture can be found outside of Paris proper.

The team travels around the circular roadway and recounts their discoveries and favorite finds in short articles. Whether they write about parks, museums, restaurants, cooking classes, urban agriculture or even shopping, the material is in-depth and high-quality. A geo-localized agenda gives you information about what is happening around you. “As recent or established suburb dwellers, we know that people want to have a social life like in Paris. We are showing that there are plenty of things going on without having to comb through city or tourism office sites,” explains Renaud Charles, one of the site’s co-founders.

The Boulévard Périphérique of Paris, France, a border between the city and its suburbs, Paris, France

Carpooling and E-ticketing

As summer approached, the team decided to take things further through launching a collaborative site. With fundraising efforts on the crowd-funding site Ulule, the journalists want to rework their site. They intend on moving towards forming partnerships in order to offer carpooling and e-ticketing services, as well as a phone app in order to create a collaborative site where people can exchange locations and post about their experiences in the suburbs.

There are several monetary goals set for each possible innovation they hope to offer: 5,000 euro for a new site, 6,000 euro to provide information about accessibility for handicapped individuals, and 9,000 euro to offer personalized agendas based on a user’s interests. At the end of fifteen days of fundraising, Enlarge your Paris collected 3,700 euro. “It is going well,” says the team.

While waiting and taking advantage of the recent de-zoning of RATP fees which began on July 12, the site entered into a partnership with Paris’ City Council in order to add items to the city’s event calendar. “This is going to show that not everything is centered on Paris. Few people know, for example, that Saint-Cloud Park is larger than Central Park.” In short, with this new, trendy guide, you can venture into unknown areas. There may be no more need to cram onto Paris’ annual Paris Plages event.

Have websites or applications enhanced your experiences in your city or as a tourist in another?

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Marcus Khoury

Marcus Khoury is a recent graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, where he obtained a B.A. in French & Francophone Studies. Aside from his native Michigan, Marcus has lived in several states, in addition to France and Chile. Owing to his experiences with a variety of cultures, languages, and environments, he has always been keenly interested in how the exchange of ideas between different cities, regions, and countries helps to shape both physical and cultural landscapes. His linguistic background, in addition to his interest in the diversity of international urban environments and experiences, has led Marcus to fill the position of French Language Translator at The Grid, where he will be translating and presenting French language material involving environmental design.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 9:01 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Technology, Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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