Paris plans new 'working bridges'

Artists impression of a pedestrian footbrige with shops and cafes over the River Seine in Paris
Paris has plans to reinvent itself and the Seine bridges are part of this, as is this proposal for a railway bridge at Saint-Denis

Pedestrian bridges will be more than just walkways but will include entertainment or other features

There is something a little different about the three pedestrian bridges across the Seine that are expected to open in Paris in time for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Information released reveal that these working bridges', will be more than just walkways across the river. They will be "places of passage and entertainment", where visitors can have coffee or a meal, or do some shopping - effectively a return to the past, where bridges were places to live and do business.

Some idea of what may be planned comes with this project for the Milles Arbres housing bridge over the Péripherique by Sou Fujimoto and Manal Rachdi that could link Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

Futuruistic housing project with trees on roof
The Mille Arbres bridge and housing development could be built over the Péripherique and link Paris to Neuilly-sur-Seine

Architects around the world are responding to a call by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo as part of her "Reinventing Paris" scheme.

The bridges are to be built between the fourth and fifth arrondissements; the 12th and 13th arrondissements and the 15th and 15th arrondissements.

The bridges are to be financed by private enterprises, who will be able to recoup their investment by developing commercial activities on the bridges.

There are currently 37 crossings across the Seine in Paris. The last one, near the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand cost €21million to build in 2006 - a cost the city says it can no longer afford.

A spokesman told Le Monde the reason for the working bridges' was not entirely commercial. "What inspires us is the transformation of the relationship between city dwellers and the river. They no longer regard bridges only as places of passage, but as places of life."

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