Paris' Champs-Elysees to be 'extraordinary garden'

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has said there are ambitious plans to transform Paris' famous street the Champs-Elysees. She said she wants to turn the 1.9km avenue into an "extraordinary garden". The Champs-Elysees is in the heart of the French capital. It joins the Place de la Concorde with the Arc de Triomphe. It is often called "the most beautiful avenue in the world". However, many Parisians believe it looks old. They want it to look more modern. Ms Hidalgo said she wants to reduce the amount of traffic on the avenue. She wants to cut the number of car lanes to make more room for pedestrians. She also wants to plant more trees to make it greener and more attractive.

The Champs-Elysees once showed how sophisticated and elegant Paris was. There were many car showrooms full of luxury cars, and chic designer fashion stores. It was a magnet for rich people who wanted to buy the latest brands. Today, it looks like many other streets in the world. It is full of international chain stores, fast food restaurants and coffee shops. It will take a decade to beautify the Champs Elysees. Work will start on it after the 2024 Paris Olympics. Ms Hidalgo said: "We will redo the Place de la Concorde before the Olympic Games, then the full length of the avenue afterwards. It will be an extraordinary garden." The budget for the project is around $305 million.