Photos: Nice to plant vast urban forest in Promenade du Paillon

promenade du paillon nice

The Promenade du Paillon is growing, with thousands of native species trees to be planted and vast public gardens set to adorn the heart of Nice by 2025.  

For more than a decade, the Coulée Verte, a series of public spaces and exotic gardens that trace the ancient riverbed of the Paillon River, has provided entertainment, relief from city life and – not to be underestimated – shade to the residents of Nice. Now, Stage Two of the project has begun.  

By the end of 2025, the attraction is set to grow by an additional 20 hectares of greenery and wellbeing. Starting where the current park ends at the Traverse de la Bourgada and continuing a linear kilometre to the Traverse Monnet and Parvis de l’Europe in the Riquier neighbourhood, where the river heads underground, this second phase of urban regeneration will transform the cityscape and undoubtably improve city life for the populace.  

1,500 Mediterranean trees and shrubs, specifically picked due to their drought-resistance and suitability to the Niçois climate, are to be planted in a series of gardens as well as a bamboo forest. The MAMAC is to receive exterior updates to the tune of €20 million, and the areas around the Promenade du Paillon will benefit too, thanks to renovated and enlarged pavements for pedestrians, bi-directional cycle lanes, additional bus stops and, of course, trees to line their streets.

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Promenade du Paillon: more than just a beauty project

But this isn’t just a beautification project. The new spaces, designed by the teams of renowned architects and designers João Luís Carrilho da Graça and Alexandre Chemetoff, will absord an estimated 1.74 tonnes of CO2 and an extra one tonne of other atmospheric pollutants per year as well as six to eight decibels of urban noise pollution. Poor air quality and high air pollution are believed to kill around 40,000 in France every year.  

In order to make way for the new €75 million development, a series of landmarks must be demolished. The Théâtre National de Nice has already gone and next up is the Acropolis congress and exhibition space, a mountain of concrete and steel that will cost upwards of €10 million to bring down. This work was scheduled to begin in January, but intervention from the city’s legal tribunal has put a pause a temporary hold on any action for now.  

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Photos from Ville de Nice