Paris’ new mayor, Anne Hidalgo, just unveiled her new plans for the City of Light, and they're going to have a pretty big impact on your next trip. The "ville du quart d’heure” or the 15-minute city plan, is all about creating self-sufficient communities with all amenities nearby, to cut down the pollution and reduce stress for locals and tourists. If all goes well with this plan, each arrondissement – that is, district – in the city will be turned into a self-sufficient community where locals and tourists can find everything they need. The mayor aims to phase out vehicles to reduce emissions by offering people everything they need within the same neighborhood -- from grocery shops to schools, health centres, cafes, parks, and even the famous Parisian bakeries. Everything you need will be a walk or bike-ride away from your place of stay. The plan also includes creating bike lanes in every street of the French capital with protected cycleways on all of the city’s bridges.
Paris is changing yes, but the famous sidewalk cafes and boutiques are all still there. If you’re planning a visit within the next few years – and you should, really; you can never get enough of Paris – here are some of the few changes you should look out for:
- Just 15-minutes away from the Eiffel Tower, there’s the site of Porte de Versailles: a new urban rooftop farm reported to be the largest in the world. The rooftop of a six-story building will be turned into a green heaven.
- The area surrounding the Eiffel Tower will be car-free with only public transport and emergency vehicles allowed. There will also be a walk and cycle route along with a pedestrianized garden (the largest in the city).
- The Seine River will be cleaned and turned into an urban beach. By 2023, the mayor aims to have created 23 swimming sites along the river, five of them will be in Paris.
- The art is expanding to the outskirts of the city. Komunuma is an art complex near the Canal de l’Ourcq in Romainville, a suburb about 3 km north of Paris, and it’s becoming a creative destination to encourage travelers to explore new sides of the City of Light.
It’s an ambitious plan to transform Paris, and the whole of Europe is already taking huge strides towards fewer emissions. From Vienna rewarding public transport users with free concert tickets to Germany reducing train prices, the City of Light is the next city to become a little bit greener.
Source: Lonely Planet