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Friday, August 19, 2022

Redesign around Notre-Dame to keep tourists moving and cool down

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PARIS – An overhaul of the area around Notre-Dame Basilica in Paris will open up to the Seine and make it easier for millions of visitors to get through while mitigating the effects of climate change, city officials say. said on Monday.

our woman, devastated by a devastating fire in 2019closed to visitors and is still under construction, with plans to partially reopen in 2024, in time for the Olympic Games in Paris.

The subtle redesign of the area around Notre Dame, leaving the long rectangular stone square in front of the church mostly intact, will not radically alter the neighborhood. But Paris officials say the planned changes will improve the visitor experience and make the city more resilient in the face of challenges. rising temperatures.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris said at a news conference on Monday that Notre Dame “must leave its beauty and everything around it a showcase for that beauty”.

However, she added, “a city like ours can no longer think about climate change.”

The redesign envisages the removal of fences to expand and consolidate the parks around Notre Dame, make neighboring streets more pedestrian-friendly and plant more than 30% more vegetation. areas, including trees to provide additional shade. Officials say the plans also call for converting a car park currently located below the cathedral’s main square into an underground passage that opens onto the banks of the Seine and provides entrance to the welcoming center as well as the museum. archeology.

The new design includes a cooling system that sends a five-millimeter (about one-fifth of an inch) thin sheet of water down the square in front of the church during heatwaves, enough to bring the temperature down a few degrees without flooding. overwhelm. the area — and to give tourists a shimmering backdrop for their photos, officials added.

Paris City Hall will pay for the project, at a cost of 50 million euros, or 53 million dollars.

The site will be reopened in 2024, when much of the rebuilding work is expected to be finished, so worshipers can once again use the space. However, the refurbishment of the church’s suburban area will not begin in earnest until the site is free of scaffolding and built wooden houses, and it is expected to be completed. until 2027.

The city held an international architecture and landscape competition for the redesign, with officials from the city, the diocese of Paris and the task force in charge of the reconstruction of Notre Dame serving as jurors. group. The city also held a six-month consultation with local residents and businesses, and a committee of 20 randomly selected citizens provided input.

The winning team is led by Bass Smetsa Belgian landscape architect, and includes GRAU, a French urban and architectural studio, and Neufville-Gayet, a French architectural agency.

Mr Smets said that the square in front of the church aims to be a “blank” surrounded by trees, highlighting Notre-Dame’s famous west facade, creating new views of the Seine and provide respite from rising temperatures.

“By working on wind, shade and humidity, we were able to create a microclimate around the cathedral to increase the resilience of the city and prepare it for a climate future,” he said. uncertain.

Mrs. Hidalgo, who was first elected in 2014, vowed to make Paris a greener city via a sharp decrease in the number of cars traffic in the center of the French capital and increase the number of bike lanes.

Place Jean XXIII, a park behind the currently fenced church, will be opened, with new lawns extending to the edge of Île de la Cité, the island on the Seine where the church is located. The park will also be combined with gardens that run along the south edge of the cathedral, creating a 1,300-foot green space where visitors will be able to admire the cathedral’s flying booths and stained-glass windows. .

About 13 million tourists visited Notre-Dame each year before the fire, crammed into the messy long lines ahead and crammed into the narrow streets around it.

Bishop Gilles Drouin, an adviser to the Archbishop of Paris, said at Monday’s press conference that the goal is to “divide spaces that are somewhat limited”.

Father Drouin said: “I am delighted that the tragedy of the fire will allow us to recreate the material and symbolic relationships between the capital and its urban environment.

The 2019 fire destroyed the huge, ancient wooden lattice that makes up the attic of Notre Dame, where the fire started, melting the roof’s lead sheath and endangering it. for the overall stability of the iconic stone structure that has stood for eight centuries. Molten metal, blazing beams, and spires fall inside the church, dealing additional damage.

An exact cause of the fire may never be determined; The leading theories are an electrical short or a cigarette discarded by a worker in the attic.

Last year, the building was stable, and restoration and reconstruction work is currently underway, in line with President Emmanuel Macron’s ambitious vow to reopen the church by 2024. The church’s organs are being cleaned, and 1,000 trees Oaks were cut all over the country to rebuild the spire and attic.

Mr. Macron has abandoned the idea of ​​replacing the church’s 19th-century spire with a contemporary onebut there are plans to modernize the inside of the building has been given the green light in December.

The fire is also contaminate the church site with toxic dust clouds and exposed schools, day-care centers, public parks and other areas of Paris nearby to alarming levels, forcing the French authorities to implement decontamination measures at the construction site. build and to tie the rope and clean the area several times.

Advocacy groups have file a lawsuit Allegations that authorities have failed to address the risks of lead contamination, but those concerns have largely fallen out of public attention in recent months, and the cathedral’s roof is expected to rebuilt with lead.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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