Paris's Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world due to it's resounding beauty. Now, the plan is to make it even more beautiful. The bustling street, designed in 1667, will soon become a massive garden.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced the plan to transform the 1.2-mile stretch into an "extraordinary garden." This comes after years of activists complaining that traffic and retail chains turned the area into one filled with noise and lacked beauty. In fact, it's a district many Parisians shun.
Well, the campaigning worked as the city announced the $300 million greening plan designed by PCA-stream to get started in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics, with plans to wrap up the development by 2030. The goal is to bring more nature back to one of the city's busiest parts and reduce pollution because of it. To do that, the team proposes reducing the number of cars by half and transforming roads into pedestrian areas filled with plants. A tunnel of trees will also be planted to help improve the air quality, and the étoile intersection will become a public plaza to admire the Arc de Triumph peacefully.
All of these changes will harken back to the original intention of the avenue. In 1667, André le Nôtre designed the stretch to act as an extension of the Tuileries Garden. It was later revamped by Baron Haussmann in the mid-19th century and has since become the Bastille Day military parade's home base and the finish line for the Tour de France.
This is the latest green effort taken on by the city. Hidalgo closed to main roads along the Seine to reduce traffic near the water's edge and added lanes for bikes and electric scooters. And a similar transformation is happening at another popular attraction: the Eiffel Tower. American landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson was recently put in charge of turning some of the surrounding roads into lawns and parks with trees.