Paris Region

Paris Basin:
Saucer shaped syncline of limestone & chalk. . Centre is called Ile de
The underlying saucers of rock rise sharply from the centre giving a series
of scarps or cotes (lower layers of rock appear-especially in the east) e.g.
Cote de Meuse
The bedrock is covered by periglacial limon soil (fertile stoneless deposit
blown by wind during glaciations) This soil has led to growth of cereals &
makes the Paris Basin one of the most agriculturally productive regions in
Climate: West: Maritime… cool temperate oceanic 800mm rainfall pa.
5°C degrees to 16°C degrees
East & south of Paris more of a continental climate, mild
winters, warm summers… 2°C to 19°C, 700mm rain pa
Atlantic depressions lead to 800mm of rainfall per annum equally
distributed throughout the year
Primary Industry:
Farming shows a clear interaction between physical, human &
economic processes.
Agriculture: One of the most productive agric. regions in EU
Due to: *Climate……. Ideal for growth of wheat 58% of all crops,
barley & maize.
Fertile limon soil
*Topography…. Flat landscape, easy to use machinery.
…. South more scarp & vale shape so wooded & varied agric.
*Large farms….avg 400 hectares, Fully mechanised
* Geology…. Saucers of sedimentary rocks allows for local
(pays) specialisation of produce.
Infrastructure… excellent allowing for ease of export of produce.
* Markets…. Nearby (21m people in Paris basin) & European.
Normandy: ….. North west so has a damper climate, maritime
influences, favours grass and dairy production
Emphasis on
1. Dairy produce…. milk processed to cheese… Camembert.
2. Apples… Golden delicious…. Cider & apple brandy Calvados.
3. Bloodstock… horses…. soil rich in calcium so good grass & helps
bone structure of horses.
4. Wheat along Seine valley.
Ile de France: Composed of pays that differ in soil type & agric.
production. EU guaranteed prices for produce.
Brie: Damp, Intensive & mechanised dairy ind. – modern and intensive,
high number of cattle per hectare, produce milk & cheese for Paris
Beauce: Large mechanised farms - cereal (wheat) & sugar beet – grown
on crop rotation, EU guaranteed prices
Champagne: Viticulture
Dry… infertile area -- sheep farming
Wet… poor soil - cattle grazing  Charollais beef
Vines producing grapes for Champagne grown on south facing slopes of
the scarp – vines struggles on the cooler northern facing scarps....
Vineyards concentrated in Reims which is the marketing centre.
Formula for Champagne developed in 18th Century by monks, closely
guarded secret
Many wine cellars where the wine is matured have been hacked out of
the soft chalk soil
Nuclear & fossil fuels.
Le Harve… oil port…. Imports, refines & produces petro chemicals.
95% oil imported and no natural gas, 2004 coal production
Gas: Piped from south west, Netherlands & Russia.
Nuclear energy is the greatest source of power in the Paris Basin (9 nuclear
power stations)… produced at Nogent & Penly.
After oil crisis in 1973 French reduced their dependence on oil imports –
they produce 75% of their energy requirements from 50 nuclear power
Nuclear power is not affected by oil prices and produces no greenhouse
gases but does produce toxic waste i.e. Plutonium so storage is an issue
Plutonium requires 24,000yrs to decay by a half
Secondary Industry
Manufacturing: Centred around Paris - 20% of French National workforce
•Accessible for land & sea transport. Seine is navigable for the 160km to Paris, allowing import
& export of bulky raw material through Le Harve at its mouth
•Nodal point / Focus for road & rail network…. ease of movement of goods.
•Agric. raw material close by…. food processing industry thrives.
•Major market… greater Paris area has 12m pop.
•Large skilled, educated labour force – 17 universities
•Tradition of manufacturing … clothing, 70% of electronics and 50% of aircraft.
•Near affluent market
•Direct Government involvement
•Modern infrastructure: TGV, canals, ports, two airports, Channel tunnel
Interaction between
physical factors….. navigable river
economic processes…. large local market
human processes …. skilled labour force.
Manufacturing sectors:
High fashion…. dating back to 17th C fashion houses designing attire
for nobles (Haute Couture) Located in city centre, Good for Publicity.
Spin off of jewellery & perfume have also developed(Chanel &
Port Industries: Located on the Seine… engineering -- locomotives
& rolling stock + car components. .. (Renault & Citroen) … heavy ind.
moving out of Paris due to high cost location
Printing & Publishing: Sorbonne university oldest centre of learning…
spin off of books, magazines & papers, located in Latin Quarter.
Surrounding towns have modern industries like electronics,
pharmaceuticals & aircraft components. (Orleans, Rouen, Dijon) Result
of de-industrialisation where industry moves outside main city.
Cosmetic Valley – Chartres Region, province of Centre, companies like Paco Rabanne,
L’Oreal etc. Located there. Examples of companies moving from city centre to suburbs
- decentralisation (105 companies employ 7150)
Car assembly plant – Renault closed plant in Billancourt Paris and moved to other parts
of the Paris Basin – another example of de-industrialisation
Ill de France 1994-2004, not immune to job losses, employment declined by 215,000
and it stands at a relatively high 9%
Employment per sector:
Primary: 4.6% / Secondary: 27.5% / Tertiary: 67.9%
1975-2005 employment halved
Unemployment rate 9.7%
Income disparities:
Ile de France….richest area. 2005 173% of EU avg.
Normandie…2nd wealthiest… Rouen & Le Harve… port industries Oil refining,
engineering, shipbuilding, chemicals & food processing.
Picardy & Burgandy…. Poorer regions…. depends on agric.
Tertiary Industries
60% of all employment is in tertiary
Paris a primate city… its pop is much greater than the next sized city (Lyon).
Road & rail focus on Paris.
Flat landscape allows ease of access
Radial transport system
TGV… 350 high speed trains (250kmph)… shortens journey times.
Integrated rail system, including channel tunnel, links Paris with Amsterdam, Cologne, Madrid
Double decker train, environmentally friendly, Paris – Brussles 1hr 20 min
Local City Transport Network:
SNCF…. National rail network
RER…. Regional underground network for Paris suburbs
Metro… city underground system.
Bus service & city ringed by motorway, inner & outer rings roads
River Taxis
Paris is a tourist centre – main point of entry
30 million visitors
Most visited city in the world
Culture… art galleries- Louvre.
Architecture… Eiffel tower & Arc de triumph & Versailles
Major international conference centre.
Entertainment… Disneyland & Parc Asterix
Castles – Orleans, Reims etc
French Presidents:
Pompidou centre –1977 - culture and leisure centre – National Museum of
Modern Art
President Giscard d’Estaing, Les Halles – 1971- previously a fruit and veg
market that has been transformed into high end shopping centre,
Mitterand – Glass pyramid at entry to Louvre
Normandy – beaches – D-Day landing
Religious – Notre Dame, Reims Cathedral
Human Processes:
Paris basin pop. = 21million… over one third of Fr. pop.
Pop densities vary sharply with Ile de France having 11.3m.
Growth Rate is 0.8%
Senile Stage, below replacement levels
Incentives for larger families
Providing 170wks maternal and paternal leave (40wks Ireland)
Subsidised creche and preschool
Working mother recieve 750 euro per month for one year to have a 3rd child
Champagne region.. Rural…low birth rate & out migration.
Most popular French Destination
40% of French migrants live here
1/3 of migrants are French from the Empty Diagonal
Since World War 2 it has been a melting pot
Former French Colonies e.g. Congo
Immigrants from China – newest immigrant population
Eastern Europeans have expanded since 1989
Ghetto development
Integration is a problem
Migrants mostly Muslims & France is mainly Catholic.. gave rise to cultural diversity & tension
& a ban on religious display in schools, wearing of Hijab
Unemployment led to racial tension & since 1981 French citizenship is no longer granted
automatically to everyone born there.
Racial tensions led to serious riots in 2005 throughout major cities of France
Urban Development
Paris designed by Haussmann – Regin of Napoleon III
Developed along river Seine.
Paris located 172km from mouth of the Seine
Primate city, Capital city, bridging point etc contributed to development
3 urban regions are inner, suburbs & satellite towns. It was a walled city up to 1850 when
Napoleon III laid out the great boulevards.
After WWII migrant influx… built large apartment blocks in suburbs... Les Grande Ensembles…
5 storey complexes.
Urban Sprawl – city now 100km²
5 new towns or suburbs built to prevent sprawl e.g. Marne-la-Vallee pop 100,000
Schema Directeur
1960’s The Schema Directeur plan to modernise Paris and control its growth
•Conserve historic buildings.
Plan ‘listed’ historical buildings & the exteriors cannot be changed. Many have
become museums.
Urban renewal has taken place.
•Limit outward growth of city
•Urban renewal and regeneration within city
•Dev. growth centres in the inner suburbs with shopping centres
Seven growth poles have been developed with emphasis on tertiary industry. E.g.
Rungis & Poissy. These reduce pressure on CBD for land as well as decrease traffic
La Defense to west of city… large office complex creating jobs & extends CBD.
Futuristic style including the Grande Arche.
•Improve transport between city & suburbs
•Designation of land for recreational land use
Converted Les Halles to shopping & culture area and move food market out to
Rungis… ease traffic congestion of delivery trucks.
Plan limited high rise buildings in city centre to ten stories.
Six new towns were built outside Paris as residential & employment centres. Offices,
research centres, technology & business parks.
e.g. Marne-la-Valee (location of Disneyland) has now a pop of 220,000 with
industrial estates & technology parks… employment in telecommunications &
information technology.
Overall scheme was successful