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Paris plans for three new futuristic bridges over the River Seine

Paris City Hall wants to build three bridges over the River Seine that would transform the look of the historic river banks.

Paris plans for three new futuristic bridges over the River Seine
Photo: AFP
Paris is often accused of being a museum city, but that won't be the case for much longer if Mayor Anne Hidalgo has anything to say about it.
 
As City Hall prepares to launch an appeal for designs for three new bridges, the look of the historic Seine river in the heart of the city could be about to make one giant leap into the future.
 
And while you might (understandably) be wondering how much a few new constructions can really change in a big capital city, these will be no ordinary bridges. 
 
Firstly they would all be exclusively for pedestrians and 'soft' modes of transport like bikes. And secondly, they would include gardens, cafes, shops and perhaps even offices as part of a move that could bring the French capital into the 21st century. 
 
Photo: AFP
 
At the moment there are no examples of this kind of construction anywhere in the world, at least on the scale imagined by the Paris authorities.  
 
Two of the new walkways would bridge the River Seine between the 12th and 13th arrondissements in what will be the new district of Bercy-Charenton and between the fourth and fifth arrondissements, in the historic centre of the capital near the Tino Rossi Garden.
 
The third would be built in the west between the 15th and sixteenth arrondissements, near the André-Citroën Park.
 
If the project goes ahead it would boost the number of bridges in the city from 37 to 40 and is being seen as an innovative way of re-inventing the city despite the limited amount of spare land.
 
Although there are currently no bridges like it in the world, there are plans for a 2km-long bridge to be built in China which will include housing, designed by the Parisian architect Marc Mimram.
 
Photo: AFP
 
“Today, the reflection is on how infrastructure can create value, how we can install public facilities,” explained Mimram, according to a report in Le Parisien
 
The Paris mayor is no stranger to welcoming new ways to innovate the city. 
 
In July, The Local reported on City Hall's plans to breathe fresh life into forgotten spaces along the Seine, with a project that will see parts the river banks completely transformed. 
 
The “Reinvent the Seine” project (Reinventer la Seine) will see 13 abandoned spaces in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France – eight of which are located in the French capital itself – turned into meeting spots, co-working spaces, lodgings and hotels or places to go out.
 
And in 2016, The Local reported on 22 projects that were set to transform the capital into a city of the future as part of Hidalgo's Reinvent Paris project.
 
Architects were challenged to revamp certain sites in order to “make Paris even more attractive, accessible and environmentally friendly”. 
 
READ ALSO: 

Paris reveals grand plans to 'reinvent the River Seine'

Photo: Paris Town Hall/Twitter

TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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