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Greater Paris receives first signage system

In an attempt to strengthen identity for Greater Paris beyond its popular centre, new signposts have been installed in famous sites across the city pointing visitors away from the obvious.

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New signposts in Paris point visitors to less-known attractions. Photo: Pierre L’Excellent

Local news outlet Enlarge Your Paris teamed up with Magasins généraux, a cultural centre founded by creative agency BETC, to bring 43 signposts to famous locations in the centre of Paris.

The black and gold ‘Par ici le Grand Paris’ signs have been designed to connect Parisians and visitors to neighbourhoods and attractions that may be overlooked.

A sign pointing to the little-known Parc de Sceaux, restored gardens of a 17th century designed by Versailles’ landscape architect, André Le Nôtre, is positioned next to the more popular Jardin du Luxembourg.

The signs also indicate the journey time by public transport to the destinations, as well as the nearest metro station. Some signs also include short slogans to add further context.

For example, art enthusiasts visiting the Musée d’Orsay are directed to Auvers-sur-Oise, where they can experience ‘Van Gogh’s landscapes, in real life’ (Les paysages de Van Gogh en vrai).

The “Par ici le Grand Paris” signage is a first step for us to meet this challenge

“Greater Paris is the name we give today to the Paris of tomorrow. It is through this name that Paris really takes on the dimension of a global metropolis,” say the Magasins généraux and Enlarge Your Paris teams.

“But today Greater Paris remains a distant and vague notion for the majority of Parisians and Francilians. How do we construct the mental map of this territory that we still have trouble understanding? The “Par ici le Grand Paris” signage is a first step for us to meet this challenge.”

It is the second time that Enlarge Your Paris and Magasins généraux have collaborated, following the launch of Le Guide des Grands Parisiens, a guide to cultural Greater Paris, in 2018.

The project was one of 12 winners of ‘Faire Paris’, an annual event that accelerates innovative architectural and urban projects by Pavillon de l'Arsenal in partnership with the City of Paris. The 43 signs will be on display until October 5th, 2019.

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