A green amphitheater would be added to the Trocadero, the Pont d’Iéna would become pedestrianized and a pedestrian and cycle route created with a series of mini parks.
This week, the Paris city council gave the final green light to the project with 93 votes in favor and 66 against, thanks to the support of the green allies of the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, who obtained a moratorium on a project to redevelop the north of the Champs de Mars until after the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Grégoire insisted the overhaul would “benefit locals and Parisians”.
However, conservative mayors of neighborhoods around the Eiffel Tower called it an “urban disaster”, saying it would create traffic chaos and, if anything, worsen pollution. The vast majority of the 6,000 Parisians who signed up to participate in drawing up the plans online also said they opposed the final plans.
“We end up with 90% of negative opinions but we are still moving forward,” said left-wing adviser Danielle Simonnet.
Rachida Dati, right-wing mayor of the 7th arrondissement, lamented that local residents bear the brunt of “traffic diversions”.
“At the end of the day, we risk having more pollution and noise,” said Catherine Ibled, adviser to President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party.
But Mr Grégoire said: “This site must live up to the image of Paris to welcome the world during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Paris City Hall said it would plant 227 trees while felling just 21 and all of the site’s historical heritage would be preserved – a nod to critics who say the mayor is trashing the capital with modern street furniture and ugly.