Paris Could Have A New Forest In The Near Future


Officials in Paris have just announced their desire to create a forest in the northwestern suburb of Pierrelaye-Bessancourt. If their plan goes through, this forest would measure about 5.2-square miles, or roughly five times the area of Manhattan's Central Park.

Since the mid-1800s, the Pierrelaye-Bessancourt suburb has been used primarily for dumping sewage. Today, the area is still extremely polluted and serves as a landfill for Parisian waste.

In their sketches of the Pierrelaye-Bessancourt Forest, officials plan on creating numerous hiking trails and conservation centers in this new forest. The Pierrelaye-Bessancourt Forest proposal also includes a place where people can ride horses and a few observation areas.

In addition to bringing down CO2 levels in the city, supporters of this plan hope the Pierrelaye-Bessancourt Forest can be a sanctuary for indigenous plants and animals. To help preserve the natural beauty of this forest, designers would place a strict ban on all automobiles in the region.

This isn't the first time Parisian officials have tried to create more green spaces in their city. Just two years ago developers successfully opened the city's first car-free park along Seine.

Indeed, Paris is swiftly becoming one of the most eco-conscious capitals in the world. The city's growing environmentalism, however, is a direct result of its increased rates of pollution.

In an effort to combat the growing smog in the City of Lights, the government said it's on track to ban diesel vehicles by 2024. They also hope to ban all petrol vehicles six years later. Paris also frequently schedules days where all cars and motorbikes are completely banned.

While plans for the Pierrelaye-Bessancourt Forest are officially in the works, forest supporters have an uphill battle to gain approval for this project. There are now about 1,500 trailers in the Pierrelaye-Bessancourt area, so the government would have to reach agreements with people living in the region.

There are also many groups that argue the Pierrelaye-Bessancourt region could be put to better uses than creating a forest. Most of these groups support developing housing infrastructure or welcoming businesses into the region.

Suffice it to say that this forest won't come about anytime soon. Even if city officials get their way, it will take at least 30 years for trees planted here to grow to their full length.

For now, tourists will just have to make due with Paris's many famous urban parks like the Bois de Boulogne, the Jardin Des Tuileries, and the Jardin Du Luxembourg.

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