The city of Paris demolished 4,000 apartments in the banlieu (suburbs). The two apartment blocks that were imploded were eyesores and failures: the products of urban policies that shifted residents away from the city center and placed them in unstable environments (not unlike the “projects”): they are crowded, offer no social or cultural life, and are susceptible to crime.

The problem: the city wants to destroy 40,000 this year, but it can’t match construction to demolition. Last year, 30,000 apartments were destroyed, but only 13,800 were built.

The city wants to accelerate the process, but cannot effectively increase the rate of new construction to match the displacements caused by the demolitions.