This Paris Life

Expert Insight, Breaking News, and Insider Stories on Real Estate in Paris

Paris pedestrianized: the Seine riverbanks

It’s official: thoroughfares along the banks of the Seine in Paris have been definitively pedestrianized.  On Thursday October 25th, the Administrative Court approved a decree concerning the pedestrianization of these riverside roads.


A victory for Anne Hildago, Mayor of Paris

We can already hear many rejoicing at the thought of being able to enjoy this riverside space, car-free.  Biking, walking, running, or strolling across Paris in complete safety and tranquility was one of Anne Hidalgo’s promises.

This flagship and controversial measure by the Paris City Hall, however, “is the consecration of months and years of controversy”,  adopted only a few days after the appeal by the Paris Court of Administrative Appeal of a former decree from 2016 that banned car traffic on part of the quays of the right bank of the Seine.

This second decree concerns the same area, but on the basis of protecting the quays as classified World Heritage sites, and not on the argument of automobile pollution, which was the reasoning behind the first decree.

“The ban on car traffic imposed by the Paris City Hall is justified by the need to preserve a UNESCO World Heritage site,” the Administrative Court explained in its decision. Indeed, the banks of Paris between the 1st and 4th arrondissements are classified by UNESCO.  

Stressing that the concerned section is located in “the historic heart of Paris and close to emblematic monuments,” the court rejected the plaintiffs’ claims.


1.5 million visitors

Since 2006, Parisians and lovers of the capital alike have delighted in this open breathing space in the heart of the city.  In March, the Paris City Hall counted 1.5 million visitors to the area since the beginning of the introduction of the pedestrianization in 2016, a real success.  

In concrete terms, however, the ecological impact of pedestrianization remains mixed, although the Administrative Court considers that the environmental consequences of this project have been underestimated.  

Unless opponents of the project (like 40 millions d’automobilistes, a French association that defends and advises the country’s motorists) find a way to appeal this second decree, riverside roads will remain free of cars for the time being.




Original Articles: Le BonBon, Paris piétonnisée, Quais de Seine libérés !  ; Sciences et Avenir, Paris: la piétonnisation des voies sur berges validée par la justice

Photo: “Berges de Seine, Paris” by Jeanne Menjoulet is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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