Meet the New River Seine

The Paris Olympics will highlight the renaissance of the city’s famous river.

2 minute read

August 17, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Aerial view of the River Seine and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

NicoElNino / Adobe Stock

According to an article by Stefano Lupieri in World Crunch, “the [River] Seine will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the ceremony” at the upcoming Paris Olympics. “From the Olympic village built on the banks of the Saint-Denis and Saint-Ouen rivers to the open-water swimming events, the Seine's presence was a decisive factor in the triumph of Paris' candidacy” and highlights recent efforts to clean and revitalize the river.

Riverbank residents will soon be able to bathe in it again, thanks to the major clean-up work carried out in the run-up to the Olympic Games, and all the economic players will become increasingly aware of the untapped potential of river transport in a time of ecological transition.

The river also played a role throughout preparations, as river freight was heavily used for construction materials to reduce carbon emissions from trucks. This reflects a controversial movement to expand the greater Paris metro to the coast, a proposal opposed by regional officials. But a new plan called the Seine Axis Agreement “wants to focus on the valley's touristic and cultural potential, which is just as under-exploited as river freight.”

The Seine has its problems, too. “According to a study carried out by the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage (ENSP Versailles) and funded by the CPIER, the banks of the Seine ‘have been degraded by decades of neglect,’” requiring investment and redevelopment.

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