Remaining the City of Light while significantly reducing the cost of public lighting and traffic light signals is the delicate equation that the city of Paris must resolve over the next few years. To do this, it has launched a public tender which will bind it to a private company for a period of ten years. The choice of the future operator is therefore crucial so that Paris remains the city of light, a light that is more respectful of the environment.

A long-standing commitment to perpetuate

The desire of the City of Paris to fight against global warming and therefore to reduce its carbon footprint is not new. Already, in 2007, the city adopted a Territorial Climate Energy Plan, a sustainable development policy aimed at integrating the issue of the fight against climate change in most of its areas of action. This commitment was renewed by Mayor Annie Hidalgo via a new Climate Air Energy Territorial Plan in 2018. The objectives set by this ten-year plan are ambitious since they provide for a 50% reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the carbon footprint compared to 2004 levels. Dan Lert, deputy in charge of the Climate Plan and ecological transition at the City of Paris, recalls that “action must be taken at all levels, in particular that of cities. “.

The Parisian municipality will be able to play on the lever of public lighting, a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions. However, the City of Paris must soon make an important choice since it has launched a call for tenders relating to public lighting, the current contract ending in 2021. The stake is considerable because, as Emmanuel Grégoire reminded us, first deputy in charge of town planning, architecture, Greater Paris and relations with the arrondissements, lighting is the city’s largest public market and alone represents one billion euros.

A significant margin for improvement

Obviously, the City of Paris did not wait for the next deadline to make the lighting of the city more virtuous. Since 2015, old sodium bulbs have been gradually replaced by light-emitting diodes, more commonly known as LEDs, which consume much less energy. In addition, almost 100% of new installations are LED luminaires. The 380 lanterns in the pedestrian area of ​​the Champs-Elysées and the 640 historic basins in the arcades of the rue de Rivoli, on the first arrondissement side, are now all equipped with LEDs. According to an estimate from the Paris City Hall, 34,000 light points are now equipped with this technology.

Thanks to this, the City has already achieved energy savings of 23% on public lighting. Yet compared to the 345,000 light points in the capital, including 192,000 for public lighting, this is ultimately quite little and we can see how much room for improvement is there. Sancerre, a commune in Cher with 1,400 inhabitants, has reduced its bill by 70% since its streets are lit by LEDs. We quickly understand the importance of the savings to be made for a city like Paris when it will be equipped with public lighting fully equipped with LEDs.

New technologies serving the environment

In addition to the massive deployment of LEDs, the City of Paris will also have to make its choice with regard to the services offered in terms of remote management. It allows you to regulate the intensity of the lighting according to, for example, the weather, the passage of a pedestrian, a cyclist or a car and no longer leave the lampposts on all night. “This management by sensors and” big data “saves 30 to 40% of energy and also reduces light pollution”, points out Jacques Priol, founder of the consulting firm Civiteo. For the moment, this system is only at work in one artery, rue Antoine Bourdelle, in the 15th arrondissement, but the city of Paris aims for excellence as in Copenhagen (capital of Denmark) or closer from us, in Dijon and Montargis, who made the winning bet of so-called “intelligent” management.

A lighting plan to respect

Further proof that the Paris municipal team is well aware of the issue represented by public lighting, on April 2, 2019, it adopted a lighting plan aimed at making Paris “a responsible city of light”. This plan takes up the objectives of reducing the energy consumption of the capital and the fight against the bright population, and specifies that this ambitious policy must be implemented without renouncing the development of the exceptional heritage of the city. , especially at night, or harm the safety and well-being of Parisians. As Emmanuel Grégoire explains, the stake of this plan is to preserve “the tourist attractiveness of the city of light, while taking


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