The Pedestrianization of Paris Continues with Mayor’s New Plan

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The Pedestrianization of Paris Continues with Mayor’s New Plan
Mayor Anne Hidalgo is on a mission. Following in the (green) footsteps of her predecessor (Bertrand Delanoë launched the Velib bike-sharing system in 2007 in the City of Light), Hidalgo has proved her mettle with major eco-friendly initiatives. Not only will diesel cars be banned in Paris by the year 2020, but Hidalgo has also recently announced a plan to turn seven landmark squares (including Bastille) over to pedestrians. Mayor Hidalgo recently announced that Paris will allot €30 million to redesign Place de la Bastille, the Place d’Italie, the Place de la Nation, the Place du Panthéon, the Place de la Madeleine, the Place Gambetta and Place des Fêtes.   As quoted by The Atlantic’s City Lab, Hidalgo said: “A city where you’re surrounded by hubbub, abandoned to cars—that isn’t a city.” Much like the Place de la République— which was given a much-lauded makeover in 2013—these squares will become more pedestrian-friendly in future years. But the rerouting of traffic is no easy feat in a city where the city’s major arteries converge on these Places, which serve as roundabouts. Hidalgo has also turned to crowdsourcing, in asking Parisians to take part in budget planning for the ville. In this way, citizens voted to pedestrianize the right bank of the river, similar to the highly successful Berges de Seine project on the left bank, which reclaimed a former riverside roadway for pedestrian use.
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Based in Paris, Nicklin is the Editor of Bonjour Paris. She is also the Web Editor for France Today, the site's sister publication. As a freelance journalist, she has contributed to publications like The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, Travel Agent Magazine, and Luxury Travel Advisor.