The Métropole du Grand Paris (French: [metʁopɔl dy ɡʁɑ̃ paʁi], meaning roughly "Metropolis of Greater Paris") is an administrative structure for cooperation covering the City of Paris and its nearest surrounding suburbs. The métropole came into existence on January 1, 2016 and comprises 131 communes, including the City of Paris, all 123 communes in the surrounding inner-suburban departments of the Petite Couronne (Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne), plus seven communes in two of the outer-suburban departments, including the communes of Argenteuil in Val-d'Oise, and Paray-Vieille-Poste in Essonne, the latter of which covers part of Orly airport. Part of the métropole comprised the Seine department, which existed from 1929 to 1968. Grand Paris covers 814 square kilometers and has a population of 7 million. The Métropole is administered by a Metropolitan Council of 210 members, not directly elected, but chosen by the councils of the member Communes. Its responsibilities include urban planning, housing, and protection of the environment. The Métropole du Grand Paris should not be confused with the Grand Paris Express, a new transportation system being developed independently to connect the Departments in the Paris suburbs.