Promenade Plantée – The First Elevated Park in the World
Promenade Plantée, also known as Coulée Verte, literary means “green course” but is usually translated as “Tree-lined walkway”. This Paris site of attraction is actually a narrow parkway which stretches for 4.7 km or 2.9 miles long. It is an elevated park constructed in 1994 on a 19th century Vincennes railway viaduct. The walkway begins to the east of Opéra Bastille and ends at a spiral staircase which leads to the boulevard Périphérique.
Promenade Plantée: History
Promenade Plantée was meant to be a Vincennes railway line when it was built in 1859. The railway linked the Bastille station to Verneuil-l’Etang through Vincennes. Nevertheless, after serving only for one decade, the railway was closed in 1969 and abandoned until the area was renovated in the 1980s.
By 1984, a project of demolishing Bastille station and replacing it with Opéra Bastille was conducted. The railway then redesigned in 1986. The redesigning was including building Promenade Plantée on the top of the abandoned railway to be incorporated with the surrounding park areas.
Jacques Vergely and Philippe Mathieux were the landscape architects who designed the parkway which later was inaugurated in 1993. Until 2010, the year when the High Line park in Manhattan was built, Promenade Plantée was the only existing elevated park built on railway duct in the world. Soon, there will be more than two this kind of parks in the world since there are plans to built similar parks in Chicago and Philadelphia.
Promenade Plantée: Today
Promenade Plantée has been featured in several movies and novels such as Before Sunset which was directed by Richard Linklater and Olympos which was written Dan Simmons. In Before Sunset, the two main characters, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, are strolling along the parkway engaging in a casual conversation.
Along the western Bastille end of the parkway located in the arches of the 10m elevated railway duct, you can see shops of crafts, furniture, cabinet makers, interior designers, violin and flute makers, tapestry restorers, and many other workshops known as Viaduct des Arts.
At the end of the viaduct, you will arrive at the Jardin de Reuilly. Here you can see the view of a circular lawn which is always filled with people in their picnics on sunny days. There is also an open air café which can be your convenient halting spot before you continue your stroll.
Next coming section of Promenade Plantée is the allée Vivaldi, a nondescript road lined with modern blocks. Here, two paths are ready to welcome you, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists.
Visiting Promenade Plantée
Promenade Plantée is located in 12 arrondissement. The walkway can be accessed through four entrances. Two are on the east and two are on the west. One of the eastern entrances is only reserved for pedestrians while the other can be accessed by both pedestrians and cyclists. One of the western entrances is located on the left of Avenue Daumesnil and the other can be accessed from Bastille.