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Évry-Courcouronnes (Municipality, Essonne, France)

Last modified: 2020-01-22 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Évry-Courcouronnes

The municipality of Évry-Courcouronnes (68,090 inhabitants in 2016; 1,270 ha; municipal website) is located 30 km south-east of Paris. It was established on 1 January 2019 as the merger of the former municipalities of Évry (54,663 inh.; 833 ha) and Courcouronnes (13,427 inh.; 437 ha).

Ivan Sache, 19 June 2019

Former municipality of Évry


Former flag of Évry - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 June 2019

Évry originates in two feudal domains known as Grand-Bourg and Petit-Bourg. Madame de Montespan (1640-1707), Louis XIV's favorite, owned a manor in Petit-Bourg, built in 1646 by architect Jean-Michel Chevotet. She bequeathed, together with the domain, to her son, the Duke of Antin, who welcomed here Peter the Great, Czar of Russia. Louis XIV and Louis XV stepped in the manor when heading to the Sénart forest for hunting parties. Bathilde, Duchess of Orléans, and his son, the Duke of Enghien, often stayed in the manor. The Spanish banker Alexandre Aguado (1775-1842), Mayor of the town from 1831 to 1840, acquired the manor in 1827; he soled it in 1840 and resigned from his office because of the project of railway that would cross the park. Moreover, he refused to attend the official inauguration of the railway on 17 September 1840.
Occupied and burned down by the Germans short before the liberation of the town by General Patton, the manor was demolished and replaced by a huge building (12 floors, 14 staircases) erected in the 1950s. The main source of income on Petit-Bourg was gritstone, extracted from the local quarries by workers living in humble huts. The Petit-Bourg gritstone was used to build most of the houses characteristic of the southern outskirts of Paris. A main source of pollution, the quarries were closed in the second half of the 20th century.

Amand Decauville (d. 1871), owner of the Petit-Bourg farm (700 ha) since 1850, created a sugar beet distillery and a metal fabrication workshop (Ateliers de Petit-Bourg) that soon supplied all the distilleries of Île-de-France with machinery; this was the start of the industrial revolution in Évry. He was succeeded by his son, Paul Decauville (1836-1922), who transferred the workshop to Corbeil and increased manpower to 700 workers in 1884 and 1,000 in 1900. Decauville obtained the renaming of the local railway station and post office from Évry-sur-Seine to Évry-Petit-Bourg. To reduce the costs of agricultural production, Decauville let build in a few days mobile rails and carts that allowed him to transport 9,000 tons sugar beet. The workshop subsequently produced a whole set of railway equipment (railways, locomotives, 1st, 2nd and 3rd class coaches) that were exported all over the world.

Évry-Petit-Bourg, then a village counting hardly 2,000 inhabitants, was made the prefecture of the newly formed department of Essonne in 1964. The establishment of five New Towns ("villes nouvelles") was decided in 20 May 1965 to decongest Paris and offer to the inhabitants nearby jobs and public services. The Évry new town was created on 12 April 1969; the Préfecture was inaugurated in the town in 1971, while the first inhabitants of the new town settled in 1972. Like the other New Town, Évry was considered as an utopian, urban laboratory, where architects applied th recommendations of the Athens Charter, a consequence of the International Congress of Modern Architecture presided by Le Corbusier. Four decades later, several boroughs were restructured to better match the requirements of modern life.
[Histoire et patrimoine de la région d'Évry, by Jacques Longuet; Évry, une ancienne ville nouvelle !]

Manuel Valls (b. 1962) was Mayor of Évry (PS) from 2001 to 2012 and Representative for the 1st constituency of Essonne from 2002 to 2012 and 2017 to 2018. He served as the Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014 in the Ayrault I and II governments and as Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016. Defeated by Benoît Hamon at the PS primary election in 2017, Valls moved back the next year to Barcelona, his birth town. His political party, Barcelona pel Canvi, registered in 2019, ranked 4th in the municipal election, securing only six seats out of 41 in the Municipal Council. Valls and two of his list mates supported the re-election of Ada Colau to prevent the independentist party ERC to rule the municipality.

The flag of Évry (photo, photo) was white with the municipal emblem.

Ivan Sache, 19 June 2019