The Construction of Paris – building works block tourists’ views of city sites.
It is mid-2022 and summer is here – and so is the return of tourists to Paris after two or more years of the Coronavirus pandemic.
But, it is true that tourists cannot hide their disappointment that construction and renovations in the city are blocking their glimpse of iconic monuments and views of Paris, making memorable photographs difficult and almost impossible in some places.
‘It’s a shame,’ said a tourist, reported in the local newspaper, commenting on the construction in front of the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Grand Palais.
Get used to it, dear tourists, because the building boom is here for the next few years.
The main reason for the current construction is the preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. There are over 70 infrastructure projects in progress for the construction of Olympics venues.
A large majority of the infrastructure is already built, while some are still emerging, such as the Olympic Village and the Aquatic Centre. The Olympic Works Delivery Company (Solideo) is expected to deliver all the infrastructure in early 2024 so that Olympic organizers have at least 3 months to take possession of the premises and test them for functionality.
Today, nearly 8,000 people are working on the infrastructure sites for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, including about 1,000 on the Olympic Village.
The Olympic Village, near the municipalities of Saint-Denis, Ile Saint-Denis, and Saint-Ouen, will accommodate 14,000 athletes in 2024. The first construction works began in the second quarter of 2021, and it is now in the earthmoving phase to dig the foundations. In addition, more than 8,000 trees are in French nurseries waiting to be planted in the Olympic Village.
Near the Stade de France (the France Stadium) will be the Aquatic Centre for the Olympic Games water polo, diving, and artistic swimming events. Construction began in September 2021 and the Aquatic Centre is expected to be functional from April 2024.
One infrastructure expected to be finished earlier than the others is the Arena Porte de la Chapelle by September 2023. It is expected to have about 8,000 seats to host badminton and rhythmic gymnastics at the Olympics and also para-badminton and para-weightlifting events. However, it is expected that the Arena will also be able to host Le Paris Basketball at the end of 2023 for the Eurocup.
The transport construction for the Olympic Games will be delayed. The future Metro Line 16 to connect the Olympic venues in Seine and Saint-Denis will be two years late – i.e. ready in 2026. Metro Line 17 to the Media Village for the Olympics won’t be ready either. Only the extension of Metro Line 14 will be completed on time, which will connect the Olympic Village to Orly airport.
In readiness for the 2024 Olympic Games, hotels are being constructed and renovated, as are apartments for rent.
After the April 2019 fire and damage to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, its renovations will continue to at least 2024 in time for the Olympics, but possibly longer.
In Paris, energy renovation is also underway. What’s that? About 44 energy renovations have been launched since 2015 to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the city’s climate air energy plan. This will affect 3,600 public buildings (660 schools as well as kindergartens, child nurseries, libraries, and swimming pools). There will also be renovations (insulation of walls and ceilings, double glazing, etc.) in 5,000 social housing units and public buildings each year. This does not include private apartments.
The City of Paris has 250,000 social housing units, so the energy renovation will continue until 2050.
So, for residents and tourists alike, it seems like the entire city of Paris is under renovation or construction.
But tourists, don’t let the construction boom deter you too much from your Paris destination plans and getting around the city. There are plenty of monuments, galleries, museums, statues, churches, cathedrals, ruins, castles, sights, events, hotels, cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants to visit where you’ll still get a memorable photograph. Paris is, after all, still Paris!