Paris wants to turn the Eiffel Tower area into a green oasis. Mayor Anne Hidalgo announces plans to create a green, car-free zone around the sightseeing site by 2024. "We will create an extraordinary garden to hear the birds singing again," she promises.
From the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadéro Square on the other side of the Seine, a large pedestrian zone is to be built over a total of 54 hectares. The intervening Pont d'Iéna is to be greened and closed to cars, the heavily used shore road on the Eiffel Tower side is reduced from four to two lanes. There will only be 20 tempo in the future.
The Trocadéro square will be re-landscaped, the field of Mars upgraded and "a space for walking, strolling and breathing," as Hidalgo said. The execution was entrusted to US landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, who also designed the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in London's Hyde Park.
"Horrified by the condition"
Each year, more than 30 million people visit the Eiffel Tower, but according to Gustafson, the areas around are not designed for the rush at all. She was "appalled by the state of the environment," said the architect of the newspaper Le Parisien. One has to "completely re-think" this public space. The Paris city administration puts the cost at 72 million euros. According to "Le Parisien" the conversion is to be financed predominantly from revenues of the Eiffelturm operating company.
Mayor Hidalgo continues her plans for a radical transformation of the French capital. She and her predecessor had already blocked the Seine embankment roads in large parts of the city center, which arouses protest, especially among residents of the surrounding area. Other traffic axes are currently being converted for cyclists.