Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, said that the Champs-Élysée will be redesigned after the 2024 Summer Olympics, as reported by the British news website “The Guardian”.
A committee made up of companies and local community representatives has been campaigning for a redesign of the Champs-Élysée in central Paris since 2018. In 2019, the plans to transform the almost two kilometer long avenue and its surroundings into an “extraordinary garden” were presented. The work is expected to cost a total of 250 million euros.
According to the committee, the reason for the redesign is the decline in popularity of the Champs-Élysée, which has become more and more noticeable in the past. The world-famous avenue with its luxury shops, expensive cafés and the world’s highest commercial rents is basically only attractive to tourists and companies. Apart from major events such as World Cup victories or the annual military parade on the national holiday, Parisians themselves tend to avoid them.
The PCA-Stream company drafted the redesign plans
Before the Covid 19 crisis, according to architect Philippe Chiambaretta, whose company called PCA-Stream drafted the redesign plans, of the estimated 100,000 pedestrians who walked the avenue every day, 72 percent were tourists and 22 percent were workers.
In addition to the fact that shops on the avenue are extremely expensive, the eight-lane street in the center of Pairs doesn’t really add to the charm of the Champs-Élysée: 3,000 vehicles pass through it every hour and cause extremely heavy pollution.
In recent years, the Champs-Élysée has therefore stood as a symbol for the global problems of tourism, pollution and consumption. That is why the Champs-Élysée Committee wants to make the avenue more ecological and inclusive. In concrete terms, this means that half of the streets will be replaced by pedestrian zones and green spaces. In addition, there should be tunnels made of trees for better air quality.
The Champs-Élyséee will once again become a place for walks and picnics
With its plan, the committee is trying to return to the origins of the Champs-Élysée, whose name means something like “mythical Greek paradise” in French. Because originally the Champs-Élysées was a mixture of swamp and kitchen gardens, and in the 18th century it was a popular place for many Parisians to go for a walk and picnic. The avenue is to be redesigned with this in mind by 2030.
But not only the Champs-Élysée, but also other projects such as the redesign of the Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris, and, according to Hidalgo’s statement to the French newspaper “Le Journal du Dimanche”, the change in the area around the Eiffel Tower to a “ extraordinary park in the heart of Paris ”are scheduled before and after 2024.