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Could A City Beach Be Coming To The Center Of Paris?

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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Paris’ Arc de Triomphe is one of the most monumental of all triumphal arches. Built between 1806 and 1836, the arch stands to honor those who fought for France. Though the monument has seen many modifications from the original concept since 1806, current plans are underway to revitalize Paris’ famous Champs-Élysées with a seasonal urban beach and an ice-rink around the Arc de Triomphe.

The Champs-Élysées, designed in the 17th century by renowned landscape designer André Le Nôtre for the French royal family, has seen its share of traffic in recent years with 64,000 cars passing through the motorway each day and millions of visitors each year. The result is high noise, pollution, and a crowed street that was once crowned the most beautiful in the world. 

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According to Lonely Planet, local business owners have come together to form the Comité Champs-Élysées with plans to revitalize the avenue before Paris hosts the 2024 Olympic Games.

The space sees about 50,000 tourists a day and the committee hopes that the facelift will draw more local Parisian pedestrians, luring them with more trees and reduced traffic lanes to make space for cycle and pedestrian pathways. 

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The most surprising and ambitious additions of the remodel is the petition to build a city beach for the summers, ice rink for the winters, and a cultural center in the Place de l’Étoile, where the Arc de Triomphe stands. Although architect Philippe Chiambaretta seems to have grand ideas to revitalize this iconic space, plans to move forward are all dependent on the approval of Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, putting the future of the space ultimately in her hands.

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Leah Freeman-Haskin

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