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3 Objectives Guide the Makeover of Paris, France's Champ...

3 Objectives Guide the Makeover of Paris, France's Champ de Mars

It’s time to start two years of work! As part of a joint operation between the Métropole and the City of Lille, Paris, France’s “Champ de Mars” (Field of March) esplanade begins its metamorphosis. This reclassification includes the creation of two parking zones at the north and south ends with a large amount of green

View of Current Champ de Mars, Paris, France

It’s time to start two years of work! As part of a joint operation between the Métropole and the City of Lille, Paris, France's “Champ de Mars” (Field of March) esplanade begins its metamorphosis.

This reclassification includes the creation of two parking zones at the north and south ends with a large amount of green space in between. The current parking lot will become an area dedicated to large events. Rest assured lovers of cotton candy and carnival rides, the spring and summer fairs of 2015 will be well situated. This vast urban construction project will mainly target 21 hectares of land. Some land, consisting of the fifth branch of the “Reine des Citadelles” (Queen of the Citadels) will be surrendered by the army. The former ramparts of the Citadel will be restored. Hiking there will allow tourists to approach the Citadel’s defense system designed by Vauban. Along the Deûle River, a kilometer long large landscaped path will be created.

For Daniel Janssens, Vice President of Lille Métropole, in charge of Roads and Public Spaces, this project pursues three objectives:

  1. To emphasize the historic value of this exceptional site in the heart of the Métropole,
  2. To propose more space for walking and leisure activities, and
  3. To improve the parking situation.

View of the Napoléon Bridge at Night, Paris, France

The bridges will also benefit from a makeover. The magnificent Napoléon footbridge, rebuilt exactly to its original 1850 state, has had its stolen sphinxes restored. Victims of theft, these women-headed sphinxes have been redone identical to the originals thanks to photographs and historical documents. The other two bridges, Petit Paradis (Little Paradise) and Ramponneau, will be reconstructed in a more contemporary style. They will also be heightened in order to permit navigation of the canal. Total cost of the operation is 18.2 Million Euros from the Métropole and 5.3 Million Euros from the City of Lille.

How does your city highlight historical areas? How is recognizing the historic value of different areas of a city important? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.

Original article, originally published in French here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

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Carmen Phillips is a graduate of Oberlin College and is currently pursuing her masters in French Translation at Kent State University. Carmen spent the last year in Lyon, France teaching English to primary school children and had the opportunity to i...

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