Remi Babinet and John Boiler discuss how creativity carves new cities in Paris and LA
In an intimate talk in the Cannes marina, new found best friends, and strikingly similar, uber creative minds, Remi Babinet, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of BETC and John Boiler, Co-Founder & Creative Co-Chair of 72andSunny, shared with session moderator Ann-Christine Diaz how their agencies are literally changing the landscape of their cities.
Iconic for their historical significance and modern thinking, Paris and Los Angeles are two of the most exciting and continually evolving cities in the world. In addition to being the creative leads for Los Angeles and Paris’ bid for the Olympic Games 2024, 72andSunny and BETC have taken active, long-term roles in shaping the future of their hometowns. Through a variety of initiatives and campaigns they will-- helping ensure these metropoles evolve and remain both an exciting destination and still feel like home.
The first of the two projects in question are ‘River LA’ a sustainable development that will help connect the city and revitalise under-developed areas, providing it with arts, culture, economic benefits and most importantly a pride and connection to their neighbourhood and the city.
Describing the project, John explained that ‘River LA’ involves physically connecting 51 miles of the river which splits LA, creating more space and allowing connections between new areas. Currently areas surrounding the river tend to be the least prosperous, so the idea is to champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces, while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation. John hopes the project, which could take up to 20 years, will bring pride and a modern identity to local areas.
In Paris, BETC are rebranding the city in a new transportation project that will link the suburbs of greater Paris to the city. ‘Les Grand Paris’ aims to improve the living environment of the inhabitants, to correct territorial inequalities and to build a sustainable city.
Having moved his whole HQ – an agency of 900 staff - to underdeveloped suburbs, Remi is a true advocate of what Paris can achieve.
During the talk, the two speakers had books which showed the building they renovated into their offices. Striking similarity can be seen in the two photographs which prompted Ann to ask if they might be twins separated at birth – “I don’t like that,” jokes Remi, “maybe cousins.”
Both men had only met in person earlier the same morning but had become fast friends, despite friendly rivalry over who will win the next Olympic bid. The host of the 2024 Olympics will be revealed on September 17th, although bids for both Paris and LA are confirmed.