Despite other pressing news, just under a dozen members met with the candidate, David Belliard, who in a Hotel de Ville annex today came across as determined to transform the city by blocking sprawling urban-commercial complexes, backed by Mayor Anne Hildago seeking re-election in the nation’s March 15-22 municipal elections.

His broader goal, he said repeatedly, is to transform such projects that range from building a large park with woods in the 12th arrondissement to re-opening the left-bank Bievre river that now runs underground into the Seine.

In just over an hour, he evoked in greater detail most of his party’s objecteives previously expressed on the campaign trail – reducing if not eliminating the power of private lobbies in citywide infrastructure and transport projects ; pressing for closer cooperation with neighborning regional bodies, largely ignored, he charged, by Hildago’s administration, but above all pursing a « greener » Paris via expanded parks in conjunction with an acceleration of low-income, « social » housing, while halting where possible the alleged Hildago preference for concrete.

Summing up for a radio piece afterward, Eleanor Beardsley said that what struck her most was Belliard’s repeated call for drastic change. « With 42-degree summers now, we cannot go on as before…we cannot lie anymore ; (about climate change ) we have to drastically change, » she quoted him as saying.

—Axel Krause