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Tree planting, pedestrian zone ... Discover the new face of the Champs Elysees

Tree planting, pedestrian zone … Discover the new face of the Champs Elysees

More environment, fewer cars: The Champs-Elysees will initiate a profound change, and elected officials and experts on Wednesday promised to “re-enchant” the famous Parisian street by the 2024 Olympics. Dubbed “Re-Enchanting the Champs-Elysees”, the project they implemented must be done The Town Hall in Paris and the district’s elected officials and the Champs Elysees Commission, which brings together merchants and businesses on the street, has two stages. The first must be completed by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in the summer of 2024; The second, which will come next, has more blurred features.

Concretely, the changes will be most noticeable at both ends of the 2-kilometre route.

“narrowing the car”

First on the side of the Place de la Concorde, where the gardens on both sides of the “Champs”, now largely, will be transformed. The mayor of PS promised “we will turn these parks into real picnic parks”, Anne Hidalgo, during a press conference at the Théâtre du Rond-Point, a stone’s throw from the street. A hundred trees will be planted, small deserted streets will be reserved for pedestrians, the elected socialist who wants to “restore freshness” to adapt the city to global warming.

The other major change of 2024 will occur around the Arc de Triomphe, where the Place de l’Étoile roundabout will see the abundant vehicular traffic reduced. “On the Arc de Triomphe, what we’re going to do is widen the loop,” Anne Hidalgo explained. “It’s a shrinkage in where the car is, I’d prefer to be clear. Because that’s how we should look at the city of tomorrow,” she added.

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But reducing motorized traffic, a focus of the mayor’s attention and a politically sensitive topic, is currently not about the avenue itself, which has two lanes for auto traffic and one lane for buses and taxis in each direction. On this subject, Marc-Antoine Jamet, president of the Champs-Élysées commission, asserted, “The mayor (…) has agreed to discuss, to negotiate, and I know she has her opinions, and we have hers.”

The road “has lost a lot of its charm”

At the top of the road, very commercial and popular with foreign tourists, elected officials promised sidewalks and street furniture, in the old places, would be renovated. From now until 2024, the city council must commit €26 million for all works, to which €6 million will be added from Solidéo (the Olympic business delivery company) for the venues involved in the Games, namely, the Place de la Concorde and the Grand Palais.

Because the challenge is to bring Parisians back to this famous avenue of the city, which was established in 1670 and has survived the ages. The mayor of the 8th arrondissement said it was necessary to “repaint one of the most emblematic windows of the capital, the most famous Parisian avenue which has lost so much of its splendor over the past thirty years”. , Jane D’Hauteserre.

It was bustling with people until the middle of the 20th century, it was gradually abandoned by the Parisians and taken over by foreign tourists and customers of luxury stores. Its terraces will also have to be “coordinated” by 2024, a sensitive topic for traders that has been assigned to Belgian designer Rami Fischler.

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A transformation that will continue after the Paris Olympics

“Our goal and mission (…) is to preserve the identity and personality of the brands (…) and also create a signature that identifies in a certain way the champions as it has always done all over the world,” he said. After the Olympic deadline, the transformation must continue with the development of the project entrusted to architect Felipe Ciampareta.

The Place de la Concorde, now fully paved, will be at the center of the changes. The architect explained that it would be necessary to “facilitate the crossing”, “re-access the monuments, the obelisk and the fountains” and equip the place with a “kiln”. Anne Hidalgo said she was in favor of expanding the Tuileries Gardens to include the obelisk.