The project, named “Re-enchanting the Champs-lysées”, carried out by the town hall of Paris, elected officials and the Champs-lysées committee (bringing businessmen and businesses together on the avenue), should be carried out in two phases.
The first Olympic and Paralympic Games should be completed by the summer of 2024 in Paris; The second has a more blurry shape.
Directly, it is at the two ends of the 2-kilometer Paris avenue that the changes will be most visible.
The first would be turned towards the Place de la Concorde, where the gardens on either side of the “Champs”, now largely discolored, will be replaced.
“We’re going to turn these gardens into real resort gardens,” Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo promised during a press conference.
Hundreds of trees will be planted and small streets will be made pedestrian, elected socialists want to “restore freshness” to adapt the city to global warming.
The second major change for 2024 will be around the Arc de Triomphe, where there will be less traffic at the Place de l’Etoile roundabout.
“At the Arc de Triomphe, what we are going to do is an enlargement of the ring” explained Anne Hidalgo, the pedestrian around the monument.
“It’s a shrinking of the car space, I like to be clear. Because that’s how we should consider the city of tomorrow,” she said.
But the reduction of motorized traffic, a hobby of the mayor and a politically sensitive topic, currently does not belong to the avenue, which has two lanes of car traffic and a bus and taxi lane in each direction.
On this subject, “The mayor agreed (…) to discuss, to negotiate, I know he has his opinion, we have ours”, assured Marc-Antoine Jamet, chairman of the Champs-lysées committee.
At the top of the avenue, very commercial and popular with foreign tourists, sidewalk and street furniture, in aging spaces, will be repurposed, promised elected officials.
By 2024, the Town Hall will have to pay 26 million euros for all works, with 6 million being added from Solideo (an Olympic Works delivery company) for sites related to the Games, namely the Place de la Concorde and the Grand Palace.
Greening Place Concorde
The challenge is to bring Parisians back to this iconic avenue of the city, which was built in 1670 and has survived for centuries.
It is necessary “to re-enchant one of the most emblematic windows of the capital, the most famous avenues of Paris, which has lost much of its grandeur over the past 30 years”, said the mayor of the 8th arrondissement of Paris, Zone of Hautesere.
By the middle of the 20th century with people flocking to it, it was gradually deserted by Parisians and more occupied by foreign tourists and luxury store customers.
Its roofs will also have to be “harmonized” by 2024, a sensitive topic for businessmen assigned to Belgian designer Remy Fischler.
And beyond the Olympics deadline, change must continue. The development of the project was entrusted to the architect Philippe Chiambaretta.
The Place de la Concorde, now fully paved, will be at the center of the changes.
To “facilitate the crossing”, “to restore access to the monuments, obelisks and fountains” and to green the space, “a furnace”, the architect explained.
Anne Hidalgo stated that she is in favor of expanding the Tuileries gardens to the obelisk.
For his part, the prefect of police tweeted to recall that the Champs-lysées was one “whose jurisdiction falls within the state” and that he would “carefully examine” the town hall proposals. His crew insisted that the prefect had not received proposals that he “should be attached to the project, he should not be kicked out”.
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