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Paris gives green light for revamp of historic squares
The famous Place du Pantheon will be made more pedestrian friendly. Photo: Twitter/Anne Hidalgo

Paris gives green light for revamp of historic squares

The Local · 30 Mar 2016, 07:33

Published: 30 Mar 2016 07:33 GMT+02:00

Paris boasts numerous vast squares, with beautiful structures in their centre, such as the July Column on the Place de la Bastille -- a symbol of the French Revolution -- the Pantheon mausoleum or Madeleine church.

However, pedestrians often have to get through several lanes of snarled traffic, while a lack of cycling lanes makes crossing the squares a nightmare for those on bikes.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo's plan aims to make "cyclists and pedestrians the priority", with 50 percent more space dedicated to those not behind a steering wheel.

Drinking fountains and more greenery are also in store for the revamped squares -- an election promise made by the Socialist mayor.

Her tweets below show how each of the seven squares will change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The environmentally-minded mayor has taken several initiatives to green up the French capital, where pollution has become a major problem.

Last March, French authorities briefly forced half the cars off the roads of Paris under an even-and-odd licence plate scheme used during dangerously high smog episodes.

Hidalgo also announced in January that the famed Champs-Elysees avenue would from April be closed to traffic one Sunday a month and that one in two Parisian parks would be open 24 hours a day.

The World Health Organization says fine-particle air pollution is responsible for about 42,000 premature deaths in France each year.

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