Although they are considered one of the most beautiful avenues in the world, the Elysian Fields they fail to attract Parisians, so the emblematic promenade will undergo an extensive transformation to reconnect with the neighbors who avoid it.
Every day more than 100,000 people walk along this avenue, but less than 5% are Parisians, according to a study by PCA-Streama company in charge of a transformation project whose first phase will be completed before the 2024 Olympic Games.
The vast majority of visitors are tourists who come to shop at luxury stores, see monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe or simply stroll down an avenue that is a symbol of France, often converted into a film studio or a podium for the final stage of the Tour de France.
“Reviving the Campos is making different desires to visit coexist, not being a showcase avenue, but above all not being a forgotten avenue”expressed on Wednesday during the presentation of the project the director of the Champs Elysees Committee, Marc-Antoine Jamet.
The official presentation of the project, which took place at the round point theatre, next to the promenade, it served Jamet to remember the artistic and cultural dimension that has always characterized the avenue and that according to him it is important not to lose.
It is not the first time that initiatives have been planned to attract the inhabitants of Paris back to the Champs-Élysées. In 2018, the City Council began to pedestrianize the avenue one Sunday a month, but “It was not enough”recognized the mayor of the French capital, Anne Hidalgo, during the presentation.
“I have always liked them and as a child I dreamed of meeting them because they are an icon. We should be proud, the Champs Elysées are Paris”he highlighted.
On the occasion of the celebration of the Olympic event, the City Council will begin this spring the first phase of beautification works on the promenade in the 2.2 kilometers that go from the Tuileries garden to the Arc de Triomphe.
That first phase will be completed by the end of 2023, a few months before the Games, which will begin on July 26. Its budget will be 30 million euros, of which the City Council will contribute 24 million and the rest other entities.
In this first phase of works, focused on climate change, which is “the great challenge of the century”, According to Hidalgo, spaces will be conditioned for the use of passers-by and new green and beautification areas will be installed in places of promenade.
An improvement of the sidewalks and a restoration of urban furniture and green areas, which total 24 hectares of gardens, are also contemplated. More trees will also be planted.
More space to see the Arc de Triomphe
The Place de l’Etoilethe second largest in Paris and on which the Arc de Triomphe stands, will see one of the most relevant actions, since the diameter of the ring where the monument stands will be enlarged, to increase the space for contemplation.
This will mean a cut in the space for road traffic, which will go from 12 to 8 lanes. That will reduce contamination in the area, Hidalgo explained.
The traditional Parisian aesthetic will also be returned to the terraces of the avenue, an important place for meeting and socialising, and which have not followed a similar image since the beginning of the century.
The terraces will have similar furniture, colors and surfaces so that, when the Olympic event arrives, they present the essence that made the promenade famous in the 19th century.
Hidalgo recalled that the Plaza de la Concordlocated between the Tuileries and the Elysian Fields and which is the largest in Paris, will host the testing and events of the Games, so the improvement of this area would begin to develop from 2025, when the two Olympic events have passed.
This new phase of improvement will include a thorough restructuring of the entire avenue, including the Places de la Concorde and Place de l’Étoile, the Champs-Elysées gardens, as well as the avenues Montaigne and of the Grand Armee.