Paris Commits to Bold Revitalization Plan for Champs-Élysées

Fewer cars, more trees

Rendering of Paris
Paris, with added greenery.

The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in one of the most famous cities in the world. That’s the good news. The trouble is, as is so often the case with well-known streets in well-known cities, it’s lost a bit of its luster over the years. It remains a tourist destination, but it’s not necessarily somewhere Parisians spend much of their time.

That might change before too long, however. At The Guardian, Kim Willsher reports that the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has given the go-ahead for a bold revitalization plan that will re-imagine the Champs-Élysées.

Architects PCA-Stream are behind the ambitious plan, which was first announced in 2019. The initiative originated with community groups who were frustrated that the Champs-Élysées was no longer as much of a destination. “The Champs-Élysées has more and more visitors and big name businesses battle to be on it, but to French people it’s looking worn out,” Jean-Noël Reinhardt of the Champs-Élysées committee told The Guardian in 2019.

The transformation is expected to cost €250 million, or around $304.5 million. It won’t be implemented until after the 2024 Olympics — but when it is in place, it should have a dramatic effect on the city. Willsher writes that the plan’s goals include “reducing space for vehicles by half, turning roads into pedestrian and green areas, and creating tunnels of trees to improve air quality.”

It’s a bold design choice, but then — that seems entirely in keeping with the city around it.

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