Paris to build eco ‘urban forest’ in four key areas

A new “urban forest” is to be built in Paris, across “four symbolic locations” of the city, mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced.

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The project is set to be rolled out “over the course of the year 2020”. The locations will be in front of the l’Hôtel de Ville, the north concourse of the Gare de Lyon, just behind the Palais Garnier, and part of the banks of the River Seine.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, Ms Hidalgo said: “We must act today to avoid not being able to live in this city in the future.”

The plan includes making more areas pedestrian-only, growing more plants and grass, and encouraging people to walk and relax in nature.

She explained: “We will un-pave one of the pedestrian walkways next to the Seine, on the right bank, and the other side will remain tarmacked to allow emergency vehicles to get through.”

The project also includes a plan to fill in the top floor of the car parks at the Hôtel de Ville and the Gare de Lyon with earth.

Ms Hidalgo’s assistant Célia Blauel shared some visualisations of how some of the new areas might look. She wrote: "Paris is transforming itself to rise to the challenges of the 21st century. More nature, less concrete..."

Smaller sites will also form part of the plans, including on Rue Louis-Blanc (10th arrondissement), and Boulevard Pasteur (15th). There will also be a green walkway from the Villette park, running to the Buttes-Chaumont (19th).

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