The primary goal of the RATP’s assets policy is to develop the plant assets of what was one of the world’s first public transport networks. RATP is one of the last remaining industrial enterprises in the city centre whose operations cannot easily be relocated.
Most of the bus depots and almost all of the railway workshops are over a hundred years old, and the city has developed and become dense around these facilities.
These two observations make it imperative to use space effectively. Our facilities therefore needs to be developed in order to keep pace with our growing service offer – to develop the bus network, for instance, or to enable new rolling stock to be accommodated in the metro. RATP makes the most of these sites by conducting different activities side by side or one on top of the other. In Rue Desnouettes, the construction of a new facility and a centralised control room for metro line 12 will be accompanied by the creation of 47 new dwellings, comprising both social and private housing, at the back of the plot, in collaboration with Logis-Transports (an RATP subsidiary) and Paris City Council’s Public Office for Development and Construction (OPAC). This is not only an effective way for the company to finance its investments, but also helps to increase the amount of available housing and develop public facilities. Achieving a balance between functionality and social utility is a key tenet of the RATP’s assets policy. By incorporating a range of activity sectors within its development projects (crèches, schools, offices, etc.), together with social and private housing or public gardens, RATP makes itself an integral part of the city.
These operations, which transform the areas concerned, often lead to wholesale reconfiguration of the large industrial plots where the facilities are based. It is important to consult with local officials and residents well in advance in order to ensure that the facilities are integrated in the city as effectively as possible. Systematic recourse to architecture competitions is one way of ensuring that the city finds the solutions best suited to its needs. The work it commissions from architects is thus a key factor in RATP’s involvement as a responsible stakeholder in city life.
The need to increase the capacity of Montrouge bus depot has led RATP to modernise its facility, while also endeavouring to enhance its status. A three-pronged building programme is scheduled for completion by 2013, comprising:
• A 365-room student residence, close to the Cité Universitaire;
• 191 social dwellings and a drop-in day care centre;
• 80 private dwellings.
This project, which promotes multi-use urban space, with industrial activity, housing and public amenities coexisting side by side, as well sustainable development (rainwater recovery, solar panels, energy efficiency, etc.) was shortlisted for the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2008.