Paris Mayor Green-Lights Champs-Élysées Makeover

Tuesday January 12, 2021

New York City has Fifth Avenue, Miami has Lincoln Road, and Paris... well, Paris has our hearts and the Champs-Élysées.

The city's mayor Anne Hidalgo has finally confirmed a highly anticipated horticultural transformation, turning the "1.2 mile stretch of central Paris into 'an extraordinary garden,'" according to The Guardian.

Architecture firm PCA-Stream, helmed by Philippe Chiambaretta, has been at work on the project for several years, and through research, discovered that 72 percent of the daily pedestrians who frequented the street were tourists (pre-COVID, of course), but the eight-lane road also has taken a toll from increased traffic and invasive consumerism. Chiambaretta hopes the redesign will create a public space that's "ecological, desirable and inclusive."

Plans include reducing car traffic by 50% and increasing sidewalk and green spaces.

"The mythical avenue has lost its splendor over the last 30 years," the planning committee said in a statement as reported by CNN. "It has been progressively abandoned by Parisians and has suffered a number of crises: the gilets jaunes, strikes, the health and economic crisis."

Despite the impact of COVID-19, Paris continues to position itself as a hub for beauty and creativity. Other recent developments include new street murals throughout the city by hometown artist Ludo and the forthcoming opening of the Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection, a new contemporary art museum housing the collection of French billionaire François Pinault.