President Emmanuel Macron has withdrawn support for the Â €3.1bn Europacity shopping mall and leisure complex in suburban Paris on the ground that it is "outdated".
The project, which was to have opened in 2027, would have included a theme park, cultural venues, hotels and shops across 80 ha in the Gonesse triangle to the north of Paris. The design was by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels Group, in association with Tess, Transsolar, Base, Transitec, and Michel Forgue.
The plan was controversial, with critics arguing that it was "huge, useless and damaging" and supporters viewing it as a way of creating 10,000 jobs in an area with high unemployment.
Confirming reports in the Le Monde, the Elysée Palace announced at the end of last week that Macron now considered the Europacity project "outdated and old-fashioned". It added that he was considering an "alternative project larger than the Gonesse triangle".
A spokesperson told the AFP agency "the president of the republic has decided not to pursue the Europacity project" as it no longer "corresponds to the aspirations of our fellow citizens".
The decision was criticised by Jean-Pierre Blazy, the Socialist Party mayor of Gonesse, who called Macron’s decision "incomprehensible and brutal".
Image: The abandoned project (Europacity)