March - July 2020,
Paris faces the COVID-19 crisis
First elements of analysis

A study which aims to document the impact of the health crisis on Paris and on Parisians, through a general panorama.

Place de la Concorde during the first lockdown © Apur - Arnauld Duboys Fresney

The first wave of Covid-19 severely affected the Parisian area during the first six months of 2020. In this context the Paris Urbanism Agency (Apur) undertook the job, aimed at documenting the impact of the health crisis on Paris and on Parisians, through a general overall observation: the evolution of the population present,air and noise pollution, shops and facilities that remained open, childcare in schools, hospitalisation of people, citizen initiatives. This work mobilised different sources of data (Apur, City of Paris, Insee, Eau de Paris, RATP, IDFM, Airparif, Bruitparif…). The data analysed, certain of which had never previously been exploited, have been enriched with cartographic representations.
In Paris, the worsening health situation caused 2,000 excess deaths between 2nd March and 10th May compared with the same period in 2019 (+81%). Lockdown resulted in fewer people being present which was more marked in central and western districts of Paris with a rate of almost 0% use of office buildings. These first months of crisis also enabled more positive realities to come to the fore such as a reduction in sound and air pollution, the coordination  of mobilised players during the different phases, the flexible management of certain facilities which were able to open to children and meals being prepared for the needs of health care workers. The study also describes new uses of public space (sports activities under lockdown, terraces being extended, temporary cycle paths) which were put in place and a great number of citizen initiatives.    

At the time of this document’s publication, the health crisis provoked by Covid-19 is not over. A new lockdown began on 30th October 2020 in response to an acceleration of the pandemic, marking a second phase of the crisis. The analysis of the different stages of the fist wave can provide initial lessons upon which to draw and can also indicate ways in which to prepare for future crises (other epidemics, floods, fires or terrorist attacks). These new approaches are contributions for developing the resilience of Paris and Parisians in times of crisis and beyond.


Documents to download

  • Study

    March - June 2020, Paris faces the COVID-19 crisis

    Format : pdf, 62.01 MB
  • Chronological timeline of the evolution of the Covid-19 health crisis

    Format : pdf, 518.48 KB
  • 55 days of lockdown in Paris - key figures

    Format : pdf, 400.3 KB

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