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Champs-Elysées to be transformed into 'extraordinary garden': Paris mayor

The world's most famous avenue, the Champs-Elysées, is set to become greener and more pedestrian-friendly.
The world's most famous avenue, the Champs-Elysées, is set to become greener and more pedestrian-friendly. © PCA-STREAM

The famed Champs-Elysées avenue is to be transformed into an "extraordinary garden", according to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who plans to redesign the Place de la Concorde ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, before giving the entire avenue a green makeover.

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The plan is in keeping with other efforts by the Socialist city leader to create green spaces in the densely populated French capital, where elegant squares and tree-lined boulevards are often overwhelmed by vehicles.

A Champs-Elysées lobby group pushing for the project said it was "delighted with this announcement and welcomes the decision by the mayor's office which appears to want to make the makeover of the Champs-Elysées one of its main urban projects this decade."

Hidalgo has led efforts to reduce traffic in the city, organising the closure of two main road arteries along the river Seine and the building of new infrastructure for bikes and electric scooters.

In 2019, American landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson was put in charge of a makeover for the Eiffel Tower area, where roads will also be turned into lawns and trees.

The Champs-Elysées was first laid out in 1670 but was given a revamp by Baron Haussmann, the architect behind the transformation of Paris under Napoleon III in the mid-19th century.

Hidalgo says that other city projects will have 'before' and 'after' 2024 Olympic Games phases. These include transformation of the Porte de la Chapelle, continuing the Trocadéro-Tour Eiffel project and launching a competition for the new arrangements for the Notre Dame square and its surroundings.

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