Paris — Mayor Anne Hidalgo has confirmed that ambitious plans to transform Paris’ Champs-Élysées, the iconic avenue in the heart of the French capital, are still on the table. Her initiative will see the avenue with fewer car lanes, more room for pedestrians and much more greenery.
Often dubbed “the most beautiful avenue in the world,” the Champs-Élysées has gone three decades without a major overhaul, and many Parisians believe it looks tired and a lot less sophisticated than it used to.
Once home to swish car showrooms and top fashion houses, the avenue is now lined with expensive cafes, big chain stores and a lot of fast food restaurants. Locals complain about noise and pollution from the relentless traffic, as the eight-lane, 1.2 mile avenue remains a major artery through the city. Even the gardens at the end, near the Place de la Concorde, look underused and uninviting.
The Champs-Élysées Committee of local business leaders has been pushing for a revamp for several years. In 2018, the Committee tasked architects PCA-Stream with coming up with plans for the avenue and the surrounding areas, including the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, at each end. Hidalgo agreed to include the plans in her re-election manifesto last year…
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