French Lifestyle  Greening Paris: The Eiffel Tower & Trocadero to host the city's largest garden
24/10/201910:44 Paris Unlocked

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In recent years, Paris has been on a mission to become a greener, more pedestrian-friendly city. In 2018, Mayor Anne Hidalgo rolled out plans to turn many of the roads running alongside the River Seine into pedestrian-only zones-- a move that wasn't especially popular with some car owners, but thrilled environmentalists and walking aficionados.
 

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The city has also been improving bike and bus lanes and making efforts to clean up and "re-wild" the Seine, which has seen many fish species return after decades of ecosystem-damaging pollution. And now, Paris is about to implement what many are billing its most ambitious "greening" project yet: the wholesale transformation of the area around the Eiffel Tower into an enormous urban garden and riverside area.
 

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Earlier this year, the city announced $80m plans to redesign the Jardin du Trocadero and Champ de Mars, the sprawling but rather austere green lawns and gardens surrounding the Eiffel Tower. The new garden will stretch for around a mile around the Trocadero to the Ecole Militaire via the Palais de Chaillot, the Pont d'Iéna bridge and the Champ de Mars. It is set to completely reshape a part of Paris that suffers from overcrowding, air and noise pollution.

The project, the first phase of which is set to be completed in time for the Summer Olympics in 2024, will see the nearby Pont d'Iéna bridge turned into a green corridor of sorts lined with trees, fountains and pools, connecting riverside gardens and mini-parks on either side of the Seine. The second phase will be complete around 2030.

 

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Mary Bowman, partner at the London-based architectural firm that won the design competition, said the project aimed to "breathe new life into a historic landscape, creating a 21st-century destination for one of Paris' largest parks." The ultimate objective, she told The Guardian, is to "create a biodiverse corridor" in central Paris.
 
One thing seems clear: once completed, the area may well serve as a model for how global cities can transform their own landscapes and public spaces, offering healthier environments for residents and tourists while re-forging vibrant local ecosystems.

Courtney Traub founded Paris Unlocked in 2017 as a travel guide for the culturally curious, and as a forum for crafting unusual, sometimes-personal stories and histories about the capital. Originally from Los Angeles, Courtney is addicted to walking around the city with no particular aim and is happiest when writing about-- and tasting--good food and wine. She's also a film devotee and a scholar of contemporary literature.

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