Paris is set to remove half of its 140,000 on-street car parking spaces as it aims to make the city greener and more people & child-friendly.

Authorities in the French capital want to remove some 70,000 surface parking spots to free up space, particularly on narrow and residential streets, for more eco-friendly transport options and leisure pursuits. Priority for remaining spaces will be given to residents and businesses, and no disabled places will be removed.

Outlining plans for more trees and children’s playgrounds, David Bellard, the city’s deputy Mayor, says the city needs to adapt to the pace of climate change.

“We can no longer use 50 per cent of the capital for cars when they represent only 13 per cent of people’s journeys. We have to plant greenery in the city to adapt to the acceleration of climate change. We want to make the air more breathable and give public space to Parisians who often live in cramped flats.”

Local authorities are now consulting residents on what they would like to see replace the 10 square metre parking places, many of which are in residential areas. Options include more trees and plants, vegetable allotments, food composting areas, children’s playgrounds, bicycle lock-up areas and hygienic public toilets, among many others.
The Parisian plans predate the COVID-19 pandemic – they were first floated during mayor Anne Hidalgo’s re-election campaign early in the year – but the outbreak has prompted cities across the world to rethink their use of outdoor space.