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Paris’ famous Champs-Élysées set for green makeover

Paris’ famous Champs-Élysées set for green makeover
Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM

Vehicle space in the iconic thoroughfare will be reduced by half, tree tunnels planted to improve air quality, and roads turned into pedestrian and green spaces.

paris to transform champs-élysées into ‘extraordinary garden’ after 2024 summer olympics

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has announced a €250 million plan to convert the iconic Champs-Élysées avenue into a pedestrian-friendly public space. Revealed in an interview on Sunday with Le Journal du Dimanche, Hidalgo said that the makeover will transform the entire thoroughfare into “an extraordinary garden” by 2030. Using a proposal drawn up by French studio PCA-Stream, this will be achieved by closing off half of the 1.9km (1.2mile) avenue’s eight-lane highway to traffic and introducing pockets of greenery, offering a place of experience and contemplation for Parisians and tourists alike. 

The plans include the reduction of vehicles by half, transforming roads into green areas dedicated to pedestrians, and creating tunnels of trees that will help to improve the overall air quality of the area which is quite polluted — even more than the frequented Périphérique ring road.
Designed by PCA-STREAM (Philippe Chiambaretta Architecte), the makeover plans will not be set in motion before the 2024 summer olympics, as reported by The Guardian. The plans include the reduction of vehicles by half, transforming roads into green areas dedicated to pedestrians, and creating tunnels of trees that will help to improve the overall air quality of the area which is quite polluted — even more than the frequented Périphérique ring road. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
through the reduction of nuisances (noise, heat, car traffic…) and improving comfort (air quality, spaces given back to pedestrians…),’ PCA-STREAM says.
The overall vision for the district located between the Champs-Elysées roundabout and the Arc de Triomphe builds up the quality of use over a period of ten years, through the reduction of nuisances (noise, heat, car traffic…) and improving comfort (air quality, spaces given back to pedestrians…),’ PCA-STREAM says. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
On the avenue, the promenade experience makes a comeback and flâneurs will be able to stroll up and down the historic boulevard in an atmosphere greatly improved by the reduction in motor traffic.
The Étoile intersection is reinvented as a public plaza geared towards tourists and parisians who come to contemplate the arc de triomphe. On the avenue, the promenade experience makes a comeback and flâneurs will be able to stroll up and down the historic boulevard in an atmosphere greatly improved by the reduction in motor traffic. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
Today it may be known as a polluted and congested consumerism site, but the idea is to transform it into a green, ecological, desirable and even inclusive area. Hidalgo also said this is not the only Project Paris will see as there’s another one considering the eiffel tower and its surroundings.
Originally laid out in 1667 by André Le Nôtre as an extension of the Tuileries garden, the Parisian capital is really looking into bringing the champs-élysées into the 21st century while restoring its glory. Today it may be known as a polluted and congested consumerism site, but the idea is to transform it into a green, ecological, desirable and even inclusive area. Hidalgo also said this is not the only Project Paris will see as there’s another one considering the eiffel tower and its surroundings. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
New trees along the Champs-Élysées will add 140% more shade and banning cars from the middle of Place de la Concorde means the percentage of surface area dedicated to cars will fall from 74% to just 18% Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
Simulations show that traffic on the Avenue des Champs‐Élysées could already be handled efficiently with a single two‐lane, two‐way road, thus freeing up considerable space for the pedestrian promenade and new mobility. Installing low‐noise road surfacing and the electrification of the vehicle fleet will result in a dramatic reduction in noise pollution, fine particles air pollution, and CO2 emissions by 2030.
Car traffic in Paris has experienced an average drop of 3% per year since 2002 and this is expected to increase as a result of changes in uses and technologies. Simulations show that traffic on the Avenue des Champs‐Élysées could already be handled efficiently with a single two‐lane, two‐way road, thus freeing up considerable space for the pedestrian promenade and new mobility. Installing low‐noise road surfacing and the electrification of the vehicle fleet will result in a dramatic reduction in noise pollution, fine particles air pollution, and CO2 emissions by 2030. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
Finally, the pedestrianisation of Avenue Winston‐ Churchill and the Alexandre III bridge will connect them directly to Esplanade des Invalides, freeing up a contiguous green space of 78 hectares in the heart of Paris.
Transforming underground car parks will further reduce the nuisances linked to logistics by providing new options to increase the sustainability of last‐mile logistics, while pedestrianization of the center of Place de la Concorde will restore the connect Finally, the pedestrianisation of Avenue Winston‐ Churchill and the Alexandre III bridge will connect them directly to Esplanade des Invalides, freeing up a contiguous green space of 78 hectares in the heart of Paris. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
sustainable and inclusive catering in kiosks run by talented chefs; the programming of cultural and scientific events coordinated between all the gardens throughout the year by the institutional stakeholders involved in the area as well as new partners; outdoor sports and wellness amenities; a free offer of innovative enrichment playground structures.
The Champs‐Élysées gardens offer an ideal environment to welcome new urban uses around four themes: sustainable and inclusive catering in kiosks run by talented chefs; the programming of cultural and scientific events coordinated between all the gardens throughout the year by the institutional stakeholders involved in the area as well as new partners; outdoor sports and wellness amenities; a free offer of innovative enrichment playground structures. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
Located far from the intense upper stretch of the avenue, in the expanse of the Tuileries Garden and connecting with the Champs‐Élysées Port, the Champs‐Élysées Gardens are to be reinvented through the use of temporary and reversible installations, designed and built sympathetic to the heritage value of the site.
Reinventing existing spaces. Located far from the intense upper stretch of the avenue, in the expanse of the Tuileries Garden and connecting with the Champs‐Élysées Port, the Champs‐Élysées Gardens are to be reinvented through the use of temporary and reversible installations, designed and built sympathetic to the heritage value of the site. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
For instance, recovering soil permeability wherever possible, creating planted ‘lounges’, bioswales, and buffer strips to increase water infiltration and the construction of retention basins where the former ditches of Place de la Concorde lied will filter pollutants and harvest rainwater.
Nature can partially replace costly and polluting infrastructure. For instance, recovering soil permeability wherever possible, creating planted ‘lounges’, bioswales, and buffer strips to increase water infiltration and the construction of retention basins where the former ditches of Place de la Concorde lied will filter pollutants and harvest rainwater. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
The planted lounges have both canopy and shrubby strata, while the gardens are enriched with new plantations of various sizes. The re‐designed living ecosystem of the Champs‐Élysées thus acts as an air purifier, absorbing CO2, minimising dust, increasing rainwater infiltration, cooling the air via evapotranspiration, increasing the amount of shade and restoring wildlife habitat to increase urban biodiversity.
The trees of the avenue are no longer trimmed geometrically and their leaves and roots systems are uncontrolled. The planted lounges have both canopy and shrubby strata, while the gardens are enriched with new plantations of various sizes. The re‐designed living ecosystem of the Champs‐Élysées thus acts as an air purifier, absorbing CO2, minimising dust, increasing rainwater infiltration, cooling the air via evapotranspiration, increasing the amount of shade and restoring wildlife habitat to increase urban biodiversity. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
By considering that the digital infrastructure of the vision is in fact a tool that helps regulate the urban metabolism, a systemic approach to the geographical area and the set of actions resulting from it can be taken. It is a tool that is understood as going beyond the classic “silo approach” of the city as a layering of independent urban strata.
Data as a tool: The ability to collect, store, and analyse data, while at the same time ensuring that individual rights are respected, appears as a major technological turning point in contemporary urban planning. By considering that the digital infrastructure of the vision is in fact a tool that helps regulate the urban metabolism, a systemic approach to the geographical area and the set of actions resulting from it can be taken. It is a tool that is understood as going beyond the classic “silo approach” of the city as a layering of independent urban strata. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM
ranging from transportation and food to storm water and information ‐ ultimately enabling fine‐tuned regulation, generating savings and improved convenience and environmental benefits throughout the urban ecosystem.
The sensors and data collection will allow for the precise monitoring and representation of all types of flows, ranging from transportation and food to storm water and information ‐ ultimately enabling fine‐tuned regulation, generating savings and improved convenience and environmental benefits throughout the urban ecosystem. Source: ©P. Guignard/PCA-STREAM

Les Champs des possibles, rendered in Lumion 10 by PCA-Stream Full of life and the unique energy of Paris, the following video by architect and planner Philippe Chiambaretta, along with his team at Pca-Stream – Philippe Chiambaretta Architecte, demonstrates a reimagining of the iconic Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Source: Vimeo/Lumion
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