Mairie de Paris The subterranean secrets of Paris

The subterranean secrets of Paris

A call for innovative urban development projects to transform Paris’s underground and reveal its full potential!

Under the Cobblestones lies the Future!

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris

Anne Hidalgo, Maire de Paris

Anne Hidalgo

Mayor of Paris
The Reinventing Paris call for projects was an indisputable success and constituted a milestone for Paris. First, in terms of method, as it enabled to define new ways to fashion the City by mobilizing multidisciplinary teams and by bringing to the fore how it is used by the public. The CFP, which offered to revive sites of outstanding significance, attracted many famous experts – architects, thinkers, artists, etc. – and allowed for new talents to emerge.

Then, through its architectural projects, both spectacular and imbued with great sensitivity, which will lead to the emergence of hybrid, shared, and environment-friendly one-of-a-kind sites in the very heart of Paris.

Based on this success, we are now happy to launch Reinventing Paris 2. Entitled the “Subterranean Secrets of Paris,” this CFP opens up new horizons. Indeed, it proposes to bring together partners who wish to utilize their real estate expertise in new contexts. It also promises to reveal an unexpected world – that of the subterranean city – by offering up unknown, unusual and remarkable spaces to the teams’ creativity.

Each team is invited to give free rein to an imagination that must be at once architectural, economic, cultural and social – in order to take on, in the most concrete way possible, the main challenges with which metropolises are confronted, such as innovation, ecological transition and the concept of the benevolent and inclusive city.

By doing so, we are rejecting a Paris fossilized by nostalgia or, conversely, drowned in a contemporary movement towards standardization. By opening up the scope of possibilities, by articulating urban, ecological and democratic revolutions, we are going to fashion the City of tomorrow: an open, decompartmentalized, vibrant and radiant place.
  • 05/23/2017
    The launching of II
    Anne Hidalgo and Jean-Louis Missika will launch Reinventing Paris II on Tuesday, May 23rd at 9:30 AM at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal.
  • 05/23/2017
    34 new sites
    Discover all the new sites for the latest version of the call for innovative urban projects, “ II – The Subterranean Secrets of Paris,” by clicking here.

Depth, a New Dimension for Parisian City Planning

Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of town planning, architecture, the Greater Paris projects, economic development and attractiveness

While several metropolises around the world have embarked on a frantic race to build the tallest skyscrapers, the latest round in the Reinventing Paris CFP – “The Subterranean Secrets of Paris” – attests to another urban ambition: that of depth. With this new competition, we want to unveil the incredible potential of Paris’s underground and invent the Paris of tomorrow.

The underground is essentially viewed as spaces relegated for municipal services. Necessary for Paris to function, via its transportation, sewage and heating networks, parking lots and cellars, it is often hidden and underutilized.

“The Subterranean Secrets of Paris” CFP will make it possible to develop the potential of all these sites and acquaint them to a larger audience. Nocturnal, cultural, logistical, athletic, recreational uses: we expect teams to imagine new purposes for these spaces and to let their imagination run free.

By bringing in natural light and creating a new vertical relationship between the subterranean city and the one on the surface, these projects will open up a new dimension in city planning. Tunnels, unused gas stations, parking lots, reservoirs, these are all infrastructures that deserve a second life. Transformations to mobility and public space require us to study all of these spaces, which can also become destinations.

The urban imagination has always endowed the underground with some degree of mysteriousness, as a place full of surprises and poetry. The projects will need to know how to capitalize on these aspects.

Innovation, diversity and multidisciplinary approaches are the keywords for this competition. All the sites call for avant-garde projects, which will make Paris an even more animated and attractive place.


Find out the winners of the first call
for innovative project Reinventer Paris.