Lonely Planet Writer

The new park on the banks of the Seine has a car-free zone, sports facilities, and reduces pollution

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo officially unveiled a brand new park in Paris on Sunday. The Rives de Seine park, which covers a ten-hectare area across both sides of the River Seine, has been formally dedicated to leisure and relaxation, and already includes pedestrianised areas, green space and sports facilities.

View of Paris from Notre Dame cathedral.
View of Paris from Notre Dame cathedral.

The new park became possible after Hidalgo banned motorised vehicles from the Right Bank last October, despite complaints from motorist groups. There is now a 4.5 km pedestrianised area along the Right Bank and a 2.5 km traffic free route along the Left Bank. Since the ban, pollution in the area has also reduced by 25%.

A post shared by Rémi Féraud (@remiferaud) on Apr 2, 2017 at 1:56pm PDT

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hidalgo said: ‘it has been 15 years since we dreamed of giving back to pedestrians and children the use of this magnificent promenade.’ As well as new green areas, the Rives de Seine park also boasts climbing walls and a football pitch with a possible bicycle repair shop in the pipeline too.

Paris City Hall also has further plans to reduce the amount of pollution in the French capital. Cars have already been banned from the Champs-Élysées for one day each month, but now an increased number of cycle lanes and a new electric tram are being considered to decrease the amount of pollutants in the air.

A post shared by Olivier Vinet (@ollieye) on Apr 2, 2017 at 10:55pm PDT

There are still plans for a zero-emission flying sea taxi to take to the River Seine this summer. Known as Sea Bubbles, these solar-powered water taxis will be able to reach a top speed of 30 kph as they zip along the water.

A post shared by Samuel Lubin (@lubin_s) on Apr 2, 2017 at 7:38am PDT

In other Paris news, the Mayor Hidalgo is still hoping to make the River Seine clean enough to swim in. Paris is bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games and City Hall is hoping that events like the 10 km free water swim and the triathlon can take place in the river.
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