The Paris Basin ring road: a polycentric pipedream? Evidence from coevolution of accessibility and commuting, 1982-2015

By Florent Le Néchet

This article studies the links, both at the local and regional levels, between the expansion of motorway networks, urban sprawl and the polycentric functioning of the Paris region. The results suggest a diversity of forms of emergence of polycentrism around Paris along very distinct corridors. At the local level, radial routes contribute to the transformation of intermediate poles attracting commuting flows from Paris and from the main cities of the Paris region. Further afield, motorway expansion appears to favour residential development and overall a growth of a local system of cities. In particular, the so-called ‘Paris Basin’ ring road does not seem to play a structuring role in the dynamics of the Paris region, except for the areas furthest from Paris.

  • accessibility
  • Paris region
  • transportation / land use interaction
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