'A serious urban mistake': why Paris went sour on the new Gare du Nord

As developers aim to turn France’s busiest train station into a gargantuan airport-style mall, Parisians fear for the local neighbourhood – and the station’s soul

“When you tell people in Paris you live near the Gare du Nord, they usually grimace,” sighed Sarah, a French academic in her 50s who has lived on a narrow, traffic-choked street next to Europe’s busiest station for 30 years.

“Architecturally, the station building is superb. But neighbourhoods around stations are never easy, wherever they are in the world.”

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