Yesterday, in glorious spring sunshine, the quays along the river Seine in central Paris were formally opened as Parc Rives de Seine.
Over the centuries the quays have served as port, market place, workshop and fairground before they were turned into an urban expressway. Now reclaimed (or reconquered to use mayor Anne Hidalgo’s triumphant turn of phrase) the traffic free quays form a linear park, promenade and green lung stretching 7km from the Port de l’Arsenal to the Eiffel Tower. Motorist’s groups are still protesting about the loss of the highway but Paris traffic hasn’t ground to a halt as some predicted and the new park looks as though it may be here to stay.
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