'Best Square' in Paris Returned to the People
"On Sunday, Paris Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë, accompanied by the woman he hopes will succeed him in City Hall, Anne Hidalgo, unveiled the place's £20.4m facelift – £5m over-budget, and hailed a project that he said had reclaimed the place, previously a glorified roundabout, for the people," reports Kim Willsher. "Around 70% of the 3.4 hectares making up the square and its surroundings roads have become a pedestrian zone."
"'My predecessors handed the square over to the car. We wanted to put beauty, the values of the République, and a joie de vivre at the heart of this transformation,' Delanoë said as he strolled around the square on Sunday morning shaking hands with people."
"The opposition centre-right UMP opposed the project and accused Delanoë of creating traffic chaos and being 'anti-car'," says Willsher.