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In Pictures: See how Paris plans to transform the Champs-Elysées

Paris will give the famed Champs-Elysées a makeover ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games by planting trees and increasing pedestrian areas, the French capital's officials said on Wednesday.

In Pictures: See how Paris plans to transform the Champs-Elysées
The city of Paris' plan for the widening of the Champs Elysée by adding a pedestrian ring around it (Credit: Ville de Paris)

The French often call it “the most beautiful avenue in the world” but activists complain that traffic and luxury retail have turned it into a noisy and elitist area shunned by ordinary Parisians.

“We need to re-enchant the capital’s most famous avenue, which has lost a lot of its splendour in the past 30 years,” the mayor of the capital’s 8th district Jeanne d’Hauteserre told reporters.

“It’s a reduction of the space for cars, to be clear, because that’s how we need to envision the city of the future,” socialist Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said.

The plan is in keeping with other efforts by the city leader to squeeze cars out of Paris and make the city more green, a push that has divided residents with critics saying her policies go too far too fast.

The master plan for the Champs Elysée, including the widening of the area around the arc (Credit: Ville de Paris)

But supporters have lauded the former presidential candidate’s efforts to reduce pollution and increase green areas in the densely populated city that can become unbearable when increasingly frequent summer heatwaves hit.

A map showing where trees, flowers, and gardens will be planted (Credit: Ville de Paris)

Around the Arc de Triomphe, which perches atop the Champs-Elysées, the plan is to widen the pedestrian ring surrounding the monument.

And at the bottom of the two kilometre (1.2 mile) long avenue next to the Place de la Concorde, the “Re-enchant the Champs-Elysées” plan will revamp the gardens. 

An artist’s rendering of the plan for the “Square Marigny” (CREDIT: Ville de Paris)

“We will create a hectare and a half of green spaces and plant over a hundred trees,” deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said.

Paris will spend 26 million euros ($27.5 million) in the lead up to the Olympics on the works set to begin within weeks.

An artist’s rendering of the ‘revamped’ gardens at the end of the Champs Elysée (CREDIT: PCA-STREAM)

The terraces near the top of the avenue favoured by tourists will also be reworked by Belgian designer Ramy Fischler, who will strive to “preserve the identity and personality” of the area, he said.

The Champs-Elysées was first laid out in 1670 but was given a revamp by Baron Haussmann, the architect behind the transformation of Paris under Napoleon III in the mid-19th century.

Proposed green space at the end of the Champs-Elysées (CREDIT: Ville de Paris)

Over the centuries, the avenue has been the stage for the high and low moments in French history, hosting celebrations and commemorations as well as protests, notably the violent Yellow Vest movement.

An artist’s rendering of a round point along the avenue after the project has been finalised (Credit: Ville de Paris)

It is also used as the route for the Bastille Day military parade, which celebrates the French republic and its armed forces on July 14, as well as the finishing point for the annual Tour de France cycle race.

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PARIS 2024 OLYMPICS

How to get tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

Looking forward to the 2024 Games in Paris? Less than two years out from the Opening Ceremony on the banks of the Seine, here’s how you can try to get hold of a ticket…

How to get tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

How much will tickets cost?

While the full gamut of prices has not yet been fully confirmed, tickets will be available to see all sports from €24, and half of tickets will cost less than €50, according to president of the Paris Olympic Committee Tony Estanguet.

For the Paralympic Games, ticket prices will start at €15, and half of them will be available for less than €25.

Okay, where do I send my money?

Not so fast. The online ticket office isn’t open yet. 

So, when do I send my money?

Patience. The first step is to register on the official ticketing website. But it doesn’t open until December 1st, 2022. 

Then I can buy my tickets?

Not yet. That’s the day registration for the ticket lottery opens for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. If you really want tickets, it’s probably a good idea to register now for the early-bird Paris 2024 Club, which – organisers say – will improve your chances. Every little helps, right?

Then what happens?

After you’ve registered, there are three distinct ticketing periods for the Olympic Games. A similar sale schedule will follow for the Paralympic Games, but tickets will not go on sale until autumn 2023.

READ ALSO Paris Olympics: 600,000 opening ceremony spectators and €24 tickets

Go on…

Stage one runs from December 31st, 2022, to January 31, 2023. This period will focus on those who have signed up for package tickets – at a fixed price of €72 – giving access to three sessions of competitions.

Winners of the lottery for these packs will be informed on February 19th, 2023 (February 15th for Paris 2024 Club members – see? An advantage) and will have 48 hours to select the events they want to attend, subject – as always – to availability.

And stage two?

The second stage runs from March to April 2023 – exact dates are not yet available – when the lottery opens again, this time for tickets for individual events in all sports, and for the opening and closing ceremonies on the banks of the Seine.

Again, ticket lottery winners will have 48 hours to buy their tickets, subject to availability, once they have been informed that they have been selected. 

One million tickets will be on sale at €24, and half of them will set buyers back less than €50. 

President Emmanuel Macron has already said that the French government will buy 400,000 Olympic tickets, to “distribute to young people and schoolchildren, especially those under 16, to volunteers who contribute to the Games and to sport in France, to people with disabilities, to their caregivers, and to state and local government officials who help with the Games.”

What happens with any tickets left?

At the end of 2023 – again, no exact date is available yet – remaining Olympic tickets will go on sale on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 2024 Olympic Games run from 26th July to 11th August 2024, followed by the Paralympic Games from 28th August to 8th September.

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