It seemed like an innocuous enough suggestion, but a proposal to name a street in Paris after late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs has ruffled some feathers. The French capital is currently in the midst of building a new startup incubator, Halle Freyssinet, with which it hopes to ultimately house more than 1,000 startups. And to help people get to this new incubator, the city is also building a few new streets with topical names. And while Steve Jobs may be on-brand when it comes to names for a technological hub, he’s as controversial in death as he was in life.
While Mayor Jerome Coumet of the 13th district in Paris thinks that “Rue Steve Jobs” would be a great name for an upcoming street, not all his colleagues are in agreement. In fact, the name has created quite the fissure within the leftist community in the city, with members of both the Green and Communist parties expressing malcontent over the choice.
“The choice of Steve Jobs is misplaced in light of the heritage he has left behind,” said some councilors in a statement.
But Coumet’s office is defending his choice. A spokeswoman said of the suggestion, “Steve Jobs was chosen because of his impact on the development of personal computing and because he was a real entrepreneur.” And on his own Twitter feed, Coumet added, “Steve Jobs is not a perfect man, but he has changed our daily lives by popularizing computers, the mouse and the smartphone.”
Jobs is not the only tech giant whose name is in the running for immortalization via a street sign. Also in contention are British computer scientist Alan Turing, English mathematician Ada Lovelace, American programmer Grace Murray Hopper, and French civil engineer Eugene Freyssinet. Halle Freyssinet is slated to open sometime in 2017.