Does the most beautiful avenue in the world really need a makeover? The Champs Elysées in Paris may be cited to the point of cliché as the world’s grandest, most alluring urban street, but according to the city the famous promenade could do with some serious polishing.
It’s been 20 years since the avenue’s last renovation and the place is definitely looking a little tired. Packed with eight lanes of cars whose noise reverberates off high walls, the contemporary avenue’s major chains and tour group-congested sidewalks make it arguably more big box than boutique. Tourists still can’t resist the place—it still photographs wonderfully, after all—but nowadays many locals make a point of pride of avoiding it whenever they can. If Parisians are going to fall in love with their own main street again, something needs to be done.