Arrayed between elegant stone buildings and run-down railway tracks in the northwest of Paris lie bustling playgrounds, plant-filled ponds and stretches of lush grass. The Clichy-Batignolles area, a former industrial wasteland, has morphed into the French capital's first "eco-neighbourhood", billed as a model of sustainable development for the rest of the city. Clarisse Genton, project coordinator for the Clichy-Batignolles district, said it aims to be "environmentally responsible" – with solar panels on homes and clean geothermal energy for heating, for example. But the eco-effort also has a social aim: to address the city's affordable housing crisis and ensure green benefits reach the poor as well as the rich.
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