The Champs-Élysées is an iconic Paris landmark. It connects the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The 1.2-mile (1.9km) tree-lined avenue was once a popular place for locals to walk and picnic. However, it is now a tourist hotspot, filled with expensive cafes and designer shops.
The "most beautiful avenue in the world" has also fallen into disrepair. The pavements are cracked and the once-lush trees are struggling to survive. The pollution from the 64,000 cars that pass through daily, surpasses that of Paris's busiest highways.
But if Paris's mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has her way, Champs-Élysées will soon be restored to its former glory. Her ambitious $250 million initiative aims to transform the iconic street into "a beautiful garden." The project's first goal is to bring down the pollution by reducing the avenue's eight car lanes to just four. They will be replaced with trees and bike lanes. From 2030, only electric vehicles will be allowed on the Champs-Élysées.
The Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe will also be redesigned. Both areas will be closed off to cars and lined with trees and wide pedestrian streets. The transformation of the Place de la Concorde — the city's largest public square — will be completed in time for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. The rest of the project will be done by 2030.
Resources: Fastcompany.com, CNN.com, Sortiparis.com