It has been dubbed “the most beautiful avenue in the world”, but for many Parisians the famous avenue des Champs-Élysées is seen only as 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”.
The € 200m makeover will see roads transformed into green and pedestrian spaces and trees planted to improve air quality, while vehicle space will be halved.
The project follows years of campaigning by activists who claim that mass distribution, overpriced cafes and constant traffic have turned the avenue into a bland and noisy neighborhood shunned by Parisians.
According to the architects behind the renovation plans, of the estimated 100,000 pedestrians who visit the avenue every day, 72% are tourists and 22% work there.
The first stage of the makeover is expected to be completed in time for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with the rest of the work to be completed by 2030.