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Monday, December 4, 2023

“Ugly France” in the process of being renovated

There are 1,500 to 1,800 of them, spread throughout France. And together they represent 500 million square meters – five times the surface area of ​​Paris. They are the ZACs, “commercial activity zones” born in the consumerist euphoria of the 1960s. Sixty years later, these structures crowned with sheet metal and dotted with hangars, installed on the outskirts of cities, have taken on quite a getting old. Renamed the “Ugly France” by Telerama like Le Figaro MagazineZACs must be rethought.

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A project on which Olivia Grégoire, the delegated minister responsible for SMEs, Commerce, Crafts and Tourism, has been working for eight months, with local elected officials, town planners, architects, representatives of land companies and sociologists. “To remove them would be impossible, she notes, because the French make 72% of their spending there, all stores combined. »

His project, presented on September 11, provides for an overhaul adapted to environmental requirements. Three components govern the renovations: simplification of procedures, financial support (initial envelope of 24 million euros), as well as engineering assistance.

“We expected to receive around twenty applications since the launch of the call for tenders at the beginning of September, reveals Olivia Grégoire. But he was much more successful than expected. » Where the Minister of Commerce expected around twenty files, 110 have already been submitted, from metropolises to municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants. “We will make a first selection in the coming weeks, she confides. And we will announce the first winners before the end of the year. »