Crossing a bridge of timber decking the pedestrian walkway seems to slice through a curved block of flats, heading for a distant patch of sunlit greenery.
Where the route crosses a street the drama of a park on an elevated viaduct is obvious.
On other stretches the boundaries are blurred as trees in the park merge with the upper branches of trees in the street below.
Trellis columns, arbours and other features punctuate the long, narrow strip of vegetation.
There’s variety in the planting, though a few easy care species are starting to predominate.
What’s more important than horticultural variety is the sense of care now evident in the elevated section of the Promenade. The lifts are in working order. Shrubs and climbers are trimmed clear of the well-swept path. On a sunny, week day lunch time the sheltered benches offer peaceful places to eat or read, above and apart from the noise of the streets below.
Opened in 1988 the elevated section of the Promenade Plantée (or Coulée Verte René-Dumont) was the world’s first ‘high line’ park, developed along a disused railway line running from Bastille to Vincennes. From Bastille to Reuilly the park runs along a brick viaduct and is reserved for pedestrians (including a large number of weekend joggers). From Reuilly to Vincennes the route runs at or below street level and there’s room for separate pedestrian and bike tracks, much needed on summer weekends when the park gets quite crowded along its full 5km length.
It’s nearly two years since I first wrote about the Promenade Plantée. You’ll find the earlier posts, with more background information, by following the links below.