The renovation of the plaine de Plainpalais is (almost) finished

AménagementLe last tree fairways device was planted on Thursday, putting an almost end to a project that was born there twenty-two years.

La rénovation de la plaine de Plainpalais est (presque) finie

Under the eyes of the administrative adviser of the City of Geneva Rémy Pagani (dr.), students of the school Carl-Vogt helped to plant a lime tree, thus putting a final end to the redevelopment of the fairways devices of the plaine de Plainpalais.

It is done! Since yesterday, the plaine de Plainpalais has a new face. Such a missing link, the last tree – a lime – fairways devices was planted along the avenue of the Mail.

Relaying the gardeners, the young students of the school Carl-Vogt as well as of the inhabitants of the district have participated in this earth, which ended with a twenty minute delay on the scheduled time. A straw, when we know that this mega redevelopment project is born there twenty-two years ago, in 1996, with the vote of a first-study credit devisé to 100 000 francs.

The time of the controversy

Since then, the events are chained together. A saga that it would be hard to summarize. This renovation, which, to date, has cost $ 42 million swiss francs, has exhausted several successive magistrates and the heads of department of the City of Geneva. It has generated lot of debate and argument within the municipal councils. Credit applications have multiplied.

The Court of auditors also intervened, calling the process “saucissonnage” in a report in 2013. A document without a concession on the management of the file by the Municipality. We talked then to complete the renovation of the plaine de Plainpalais in 2015…

Not so simple. Controversy erupted. Already in 2009, the choice of the coating – the famous ghorr beaujolais, color brick – had the penalty to be imposed on the City. There was still some nostalgia for the lawn. It should, however, remember that prior to its renovation, the plaine de Plainpalais, the largest “crottodrome” of the world, looked like a sad wasteland!

A sling of an entirely different magnitude gripped the city when it came time to take down or move old trees. A referendum has even been launched. It resulted in a vote on 27 November 2016, which could question everything. Ultimately, the residents of the City have accepted the 8 million of supplementary credit to complete the renovation of the fairways devices. It is this step, the third, which ended yesterday.

The largest of Switzerland

The building successive have started already in 2009. A skatepark and a play park in particular have seen the light of day. Urban furniture all nine appeared, the paths have been restored. The drainage has been reviewed, the pipelines and supply of drinking water and electricity redesigned in order to better adapt to the multiple activities of the plain. Food markets and flea circuses, fairground, fan zones or even end of year celebrations take regularly of what is, to this day, the largest public square in Switzerland (almost 70 000 m2).

More than 200 new trees

“Today there are 273 trees in total on the plaine de Plainpalais, including 217 new,” says Rémy Pagani, administrative adviser in charge of the Department of construction and spatial planning. Carlos Lopez and Julien Descombes, the architects who led the project since its inception, also had mine looked forward to the time to plant the last tree. The last, really? “Not for us, slipped. This is a stage that ends, but it will still be necessary to renew some portions of the fairways.” Confirmation of a gardener present on the spot: “there are still a few old trees that are not very fresh…”

Now, more than 60 000 m2 of the plaine de Plainpalais are being renovated. There is a small 10%, “7925 m2, precise Rémy Pagani. A few stretches along the avenue du Mail, boulevard Georges-So and the rue Harry-Marc are still in the state. I don’t know if everything will be finished during my legislative term, but I know that it took me eleven and a half years for planting this last lime!”

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