“Their lies are enormous,” Moreno said in a recent interview , describing some of the claims made by his critics. “You will be locked in your neighbourhood; cameras will signal who can go out; if your mother lives in another neighbourhood, you will have to ask for permission to see her, and so on,” adding that they “sometimes post pictures of concentration camps.”

Moreno first promoted his concept of la ville du quart d’heure in 2016, but it gained international attention when the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, adopted it as part of her re-election campaign in 2020. She promised she would close off roads and turn them into public plazas, plant more trees and turn schools into the “capitals of the neighbourhood”, open to everyone for sports and recreation in evenings and at weekends.

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