Not a Brahmin
- Jan 22, 2012
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There’s been a lot of political angst over driving in Paris over the last few years. Here’s the latest in the city’s plans to restrict automobiles:
I don't know enough about automobile traffic circulation in Paris to weigh in on that aspect of this, but I love this proposal. At nearly 200 feet wide (inc. sidewalks), there's a ton of room to really get creative in terms of activating the space. Overhauling Place de la Concorde is essential - as-is, it's not pedestrian friendly in the slightest.There’s been a lot of political angst over driving in Paris over the last few years. Here’s the latest in the city’s plans to restrict automobiles:
This week, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo gave the green light to a dramatic makeover of the French capital’s most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées. Promising to turn the 1.4-mile (2.3 -kilometer) strip from the Place de La Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe into an “extraordinary garden,” the city’s $305 million plan, envisioned by architects PCA–Stream, will roughly halve the space allotted to cars, greatly increase the area’s tree cover and seek to encourage more small-scale shops along the avenue’s flanks.
More than a decade ago, a somewhat similar transformation swept the crossroads of an American metropolis, New York City’s partially pedestrianized Times Square. That still rankles some New Yorkers nostalgic for bygone bustle, and Hidalgo may find certain Parisians likewise resistant to banishing cars along this boulevard; her multi-year campaign to rid the city of automotive domination has been marked by such pushback in the past. But if the car-free wave continues — and developments in other Europeans cities, including Brussels and Madrid, suggest it can — more grand urban spaces could look forward to a less frenetic future.