Paris: the Eiffel Tower’s redevelopment project has started, excluding the Champ-de-Mars

Published by Cécile D. · Photos by My B. · Published on 23 February 2022 at 11h29
The surroundings of the Eiffel Tower will be entirely rethought and redesigned in the coming years. This Tuesday February 8, the Conseil de Paris has given the green light to the redevelopment project involving the Pont d’Iéna, the Place du Trocadéro, the Quai Branly, while excluding the northern part of the Champ-de-Mars.

This is some long and difficult work starting: redeveloping the surroundings of the Eiffel Tower, when seven million tourists come and visit the Iron Lady every year (before the pandemic) and 20 million people walk under its feet to admire it, is no easy project. And yet, for Paris City Hall, this ambitious program is necessary, especially with the 2024 Summer Olympics coming.

This Tuesday February 8, 2022, the Conseil de Paris approved the project to redeveloped the areas surrounding the Eiffel Tower including 93 votes “for” and 66 “against”. Citizens who took part in the online public consultation were mostly against the project that is yet to start soon despite the protests of the elected representatives from the opposition and local inhabitants.

The Conseil de Paris has come up to an agreement for a project making the Pont d’Iéna car-free, on the creation of a green amphitheater on the Place du Trocadéro and the creation of a green walk by the Quai Branly. A €110-million envelop has been granted to these operations, France Info said.

The works planned are to take place until 2026, although the Paris City Hall hopes most of it will be done for the 2024 Games. As a matter of fact, the City hopes to be able to host the trials for beach-volley, triathlon, marathon and swimming in wild water within the perimeter of the Eiffel Tower, Le Monde said.

Bold redevelopment plans are expected, which is at the opposite of what locals wish, head of France Nature Environnement (FNE) Paris and SOS Paris associations Christine Nedelec claimed. “Locals ask for a minimal project, the maintenance of the site and do not want enormous things,” she insists on.

Right elected representatives stand strongly against the project but have not been able to rely on the support from the ecologists, as they hoped for. The latter negotiated with Anne Hidalgo and got that the northern part of the Champ-de-Mars be excluded from the redevelopment plan. They have been also promised the “City of Paris commits to progressively reduce events allowed on site to reach in 2025 a total of 250 days of rest where no event will take place on the green areas of the location”.

Works are set to begin from March or April 2022. For the next two years, efforts will focus on the right bank, by the Trocadéro, Varsovie, Quai Jacques-Chirac, so this part will be done for the Olympics. In all, the project is to enable the creation of 1.6 hectare of green spaces in the heart of the city. The municipality also shines a light on their green approach: “227 trees will be planted, and 21 cut down, namely a net balance of 206 trees”, first deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire guarantees.

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