The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has said a 250 mln euro makeover of the Champs-Élysées will go ahead, though the ambitious transformation will not happen before the French capital hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The aim is to transform the Champs-Élysées by 2030.
Anne Hidalgo said the planned work, unveiled in 2019 by local community leaders and businesses, would turn the 1.9 km (1.2 mile) stretch of central Paris into “an extraordinary garden”.
“The legendary avenue has lost its splendour during the last 30 years. It has been progressively abandoned by Parisians and has been hit by several successive crises: the gilets jaunes, strikes, health and economic,” the committee said in a statement welcoming Hidalgo’s announcement.
The Champs-Élysées’ name is French for the mythical Greek paradise, the Elysian Fields. It was originally a mixture of swamp and kitchen gardens.
André Le Nôtre, Louis XIV the Sun King’s gardener, first designed the wide promenade lined with a double row of elm trees on each side, called the Grand Cours.
It was renamed the Champs-Élysées in 1709 and extended, and by the end of the century had become a popular place to walk and picnic.
The plans also include redesigning the famous Place de la Concorde – Paris’s largest place – at the south-east end of the avenue, described by city hall as a “municipal priority”. This is expected to be completed before the Olympic Games.
Source : The Guardian