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Paris 2020: 5 city projects to get excited about

2020 is already proving to be a busy year for the city of Paris.  With municipal elections right around the corner and the Olympic Games ever-approaching, many exciting changes are afoot in the capital.  Read on to learn more about the 5 major city projects we’re most excited about this year.


1. Opening of the Musée Carnavalet this spring

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After three years and 55 million euros spent on renovations, Paris’s Musée Carnavalet in the 4th arrondissement will open this spring.  The museum, dedicated entirely to the history of the city of Paris, has undergone a major facelift, while still holding onto its antiquated soul.  Guests will be happy to rediscover the museum’s “period rooms,” where the great salons of long-destroyed Paris mansions have been recreated in all their splendor.  Paintings have been dusted off and will be displayed in a new light, with more than thirty rooms presenting a unique collection of interior decor from the 17th and 18th centuries.  Out of the more than 615,000 works inside the museum (one of the largest collections in the country) 4,000 pieces will be displayed after having undergone restorative work.


2. A market garden in the 15th

Above the new “Hall 6” within the 15th arrondissement’s parc des Expositions, a giant market garden is set to open this spring, offering organic fruits and vegetables year-round.  At 14,000 m2, or about the size of two soccer fields, this will be the largest roof-protected urban farm in the world.  The market garden will grow more than a thousand fruits and vegetables representing some thirty varieties; during high season, it’s even expected that the farm could produce up to one ton of produce per day.

Specializing in urban agriculture, Agripolis and Cultures en ville are the two companies behind the project. Some twenty market gardeners will plant and cultivate the produce without chemicals and with respect to seasonal changes.

The farm will supply the restaurants within the parc des Expositions, starting with Le Perchoir, which will open on Hall 6’s panoramic terrace.  By 2024, the farm should also supply Guy Martin’s gourmet restaurant on the roof of Hall 3.  The market garden’s goods will also be available to residents of southern Paris and neighboring towns.


3. The Pinault collection at the Bourse de Commerce

After two years of construction and €150 million invested, the contemporary art collection of Francois Pinault will be open to the public at the Bourse de Commerce in Paris’s first arrondissement this June.  The ambitious design project was imagined by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.  In the center of the Bourse de Commerce, a 19th century, glass-domed rotunda that is now a historic monument, Ando has planned to construct a 9-meter tall ring-shaped structure out of concrete that will house the art collection.  A 91-meter long passageway on top of the creation will offer visitors a new vantage point to view the immense fresco on the ceiling.  Two free entry days have already been organized by management on June 13th and 14th.  The collection is also just a stones throw from contemporary art museum Centre Pompidou, the perfect detour on your modern art tour of the capital.


4. A new park on the Chapelle-Charbon site

As part of major renovations happening in northeastern Paris, a 6.5 hectare urban park, built over an old train yard, will open by the end of 2030 on the current Chapelle-Charbon construction site.  On the southern edge of the park, the former ZAC Evangile will be redeveloped to welcome hundreds of housing units, office spaces, a school, and an activity center.  In the meantime, a 3 hectare portion of the park will open to the public this spring.

The project will eventually extend over the CAP18 industrial zone, as far as rue d’Aubervilliers, near Rosa Parks. A footbridge linking boulevard Ney, which will overlook the future rails of the Charles-de-Gaulle Express, will be built. The area will be directly accessible to several public transport lines (metro 12, tramway T3b, RER E) and will offer direct access to major neighboring thoroughfares once constructed is fully complete, like boulevard Ney, rue d’Aubervilliers, and rue de la Chapelle.


5. Climb the colonne de Juillet

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As place de la Bastille continues to modernize and become more pedestrian-friendly, it’s the perfect time to show passersby that the colonne de Juillet is more than just decorative.  By the end of the year, the infamous pillar, adorning the roundabout at Bastille for almost two centuries, will welcome visitors.  Discreet but considerable renovations of the inside of the monument have been going on for many years now. From the windows and decor, to the ramparts and ironworks, a completely refreshed interior awaits.  Visits will be conducted in groups of 19 and the monument will also host history-related conferences.


Sources: Transports, urbanisme, culture : ce qui vous attend à Paris en 2020; En 2020, on pourra entrer dans la colonne de Juillet pour la visiter

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