No Re-Landscaping Around Eiffel Tower: Paris Mayor
The Paris Mayor on Monday cleared the air on the plans for new buildings around the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The plans were rejected following months of protests from environmentalists and petitions signed by nearly 150,00 people.
Under the plan, around 20 mature trees would be uprooted while four new buildings housing a cafe, shops, toilets and baggage drop-off were set to be constructed. Campaigners were delighted that plans for new buildings had been dropped and thousands of trees were saved from felling.
“I am announcing that we are completely cancelling any construction project at the foot of the tower but the re-landscaping is maintained,” deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told the Journal du Dimanche.”We are not giving into pressure but we would like that the project is not overshadowed by controversy. Let’s just say that we are removing some of the friction,” he further went on to say.
The landscaping is part of a much larger plan to re-organise the space around the famous tourist attraction, which will see roads and public areas planted with grass and shrubs.
An area of 54 hectares around the tower, currently harbouring roads will be largely turned over to pedestrians and “low-impact transportation” such as bus and bike lanes. With this, the authorities are aiming to finish as much as possible for the start of the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
Overall, seven million people visit the tower every year.