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Place de la Nation goes green
The installation of turf has begun on a “reinvented” Place de la Nation. This is one of the last steps in the redevelopment of the site, set to be complete this summer.
Cannes has its red carpet… and since last week, Place de la Nation (Paris 11-12) is covered in its very own “green” carpet. Squares of rolled turf are being laid like carpeting on a thin layer of topsoil and will soon cover almost all of the central part of the square.
Construction to be finished in one month
This change, as well as the installation of new street lamps, the repaving of side streets, the addition of benches and other urban furniture in the new “central park”, and even still the lighting repairs surrounding the “Triomphe de la République” statue in the middle of the roundabout, will mark the end of the construction site. The entire project will be finished in one month.
Although work began at the beginning of 2018, brainstorming behind the new face of Nation started as early as 2015. It was then that the Mayor of Paris launched the “Réinventons nos places” plan to makeover the capital’s seven largest esplanades (Nation, Bastille, Panthéon, place d’Italie, place des Fêtes, Gambetta, and Madeleine) and reduce automobile presence in these areas.
4,300 m2 of green space and pedestrian zones
This initiative led to the creation of no less than 4,300 m2 of additional green space and pedestrian zones at Nation (the second largest square in Paris after Concorde). Four out of the seven car lanes surrounding the square have been reincorporated into the space, adding significant additional square meters. A full-scale test run carried out over the past two years (large concrete roadblocks sealing off traffic lanes were installed even before construction began) allowed residents to see that this change in circulation had little impact on traffic flow.
Some trees cut, others planted
“I have to admit, it’s going pretty well. We feared permanent traffic jams and horns all day long, but this didn’t happen,” states Chantal, a retired woman who lives just next door to the square. “Once the large lawn in the center of the square will be complete, it’ll be very nice. It’s a shame that they had to cut several trees down for this project,” she concludes. Town hall has since indirectly made known that “13 additional trees will be planted.”