Photo: Omarukai / CC
Paris is widely recognized as one of the world's most beautiful cities, and it has no intention of letting its reputation be sullied. The City is launching a new anti-littering campaign, with 35€ ($47) fines for all kinds of littering, public urination and not picking up after one's dog. But the thinking behind the effort comes from more than cleanliness- Paris has made major efforts to go green and to make public space truly for the public, not just for cars. If there's dog poo everywhere, it's not going to work.
The City web site says:
In Paris, public space is becoming more and more a place to live: you eat there, drink there, smoke there, you move through it - and less and less in cars- you go out there.
In my time in Paris, I've never noticed a lot of litter, but there is a lot of dog poo lying around. (In true Parisian fashion, the City recommends carrying a pair of cleaning gloves, some napkins, and a paper or plastic bag to pick up after your dog.) There are trash cans everywhere- 30,000 in total; that's one every 100 meters.
35€ isn't a huge amount of money, but it's nothing to be sneezed at, either. I respect Paris' effort to clean up, and its recognition that for an urban space to be enjoyable and healthy, it also needs to be clean. The City equates litter with pollution, and I agree.
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