The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has agreed to a complete makeover of the Champs-Elysées. More green and fewer cars, that is the core of the ambitious plan.
Hidalgo said the renovation of the famous shopping boulevard, estimated at 250 million euros, will certainly go ahead, but they will not start before the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The mayor wants to turn the 1.9 km (1.18 miles) long avenue into an extraordinary garden. She said so in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.
Since 2018, a local committee of cultural and economic operators has been working on the complete redrawing of the world-famous boulevard and its surroundings. According to the committee, the legendary avenue has lost much of its splendour and charisma over the past thirty years. The committee is, therefore, pleased with Hidalgo's commitment.
The working party has held a public consultation on what should happen to the avenue. According to the plans, the space for car traffic will be halved. Lanes must make way for pedestrian zones and green areas. There will also be tunnels with trees. All these elements should significantly improve air quality, writes The Guardian.
Today the Champs-Elysées is mainly known for its expensive cafés, luxury boutiques and showrooms of exclusive car brands. Commercial rent prices are among the highest in the world. The local Parisians avoid the neighbourhood increasingly because of severe air pollution.
The plans also include the redevelopment of the Place de la Concorde. Located at the southeast end of the avenue, it is the largest square in Paris. These works should be completed before the Olympic Games. The Champs-Elysées makeover is set to be finished by 2030.