Paris, the Cleanest City in Europe?


I still owe you the real answer. However, it still amazes me how clean the centre of Paris is, every time. The other day still during our presence at the Pollutec exhibition.


The Pollutec in Paris, it is a real pleasure to be allowed to go there. Although it is hard work during the exhibition, it always feels a bit like a holiday. It starts on the train, relaxed travelling and good company. And then ... then you get off the train at Gare du Nord and find yourself in a whirlwind of people running, in the overwhelming traffic and a city that is elaborately decorated for Christmas. In all the chaos and noise it still becomes a somewhat quiet around you.


Until you go into the rush hour on the underground. The workday has begun. Being ready at the stand before 09.00h. First, a coffee with French colleagues. The coffee was soon exchanged for champagne ... Well, as a Dutchman, you have to adapt to the customs.


What did we expect from the Pollutec this year? Not this invasion at least. Expectations were far exceeded. Even the exhibition organisers did not expect this number of visitors. The leads that this exhibition generated make us very excited for 2014. The following up and hopefully the realisation of great projects.


However, to come back to the clean city. Really there are no shreds of paper on the street, no cans and no flattened pieces of chewing gum. I found a number of loose leaves when we rushed from the Galéries Lafayette to Le Printemps department store ;-), but they were even swept up by someone from the Sanitation Department in the evening at 21.00h. What will the planning look like; what hours do they work there and what will all of this cost? But, it is really impressive!


PS: How can we get our cities as clean? Higher levies or perhaps more citizen engagement?


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