A new look is in the works for Paris's most famous boulevard, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, is about to get a total make-over under plans approved this week. The plan will remove heavy traffic from the road and replace it with pedestrian and cycle-friendly amenities.
It's part of long-term plans by Mayor Anne Hidalgo to create more green spaces and to cut the traffic that has given the 'City of Light' some of the darkest pollution ratings in Europe. The Champs, originally laid out in 1670 and revamped two hundred years later by Baron Haussmann, has been criticized in recent years for turning into a venue for tacky mass retail and heavy traffic.
The change-over will be in phases, with the first coming with a traffic-free Place Concorde, which anchors one end of the boulevard, with the Arc de Triomphe at the other. The first portions of the work are due to be completed in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Elsewhere in the city, work has started on plans for lawns and gardens to replace some of the roads around the Eiffel Tower.