It has been called “the most beautiful avenue in the world”, but for many Parisians the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées is seen as nothing more than an overcrowded tourist trap that has seen better days. But now plans have been approved to radically transform the avenue into what Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has described as an “extraordinary garden”.
With a transition of EUR 200 million, roads will be transformed into green spaces and pedestrian streets and trees will be planted to improve air quality, while vehicle space will be halved.
The project follows years of campaigns by activists who claim that mass shops, expensive cafes and constant traffic have made the avenue a bland and noisy district avoided by Parisians.
According to the architects behind the plans for the modernization, of the estimated 100,000 pedestrians who visit the avenue every day, about 72 percent are tourists and 22 percent work there.
The first stage of the makeover is expected to be completed in time for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris with the remaining work completed in 2030.