Coulée verte René-Dumont

Coordinates: 48°50′58″N 2°22′18″E / 48.849383°N 2.371556°E / 48.849383; 2.371556
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Coulée verte René-Dumont
View of the Coulée verte René-Dumont
Coulée verte René-Dumont is located in Paris
Coulée verte René-Dumont
TypeElevated, linear park and rail trail
Nearest cityParis
Coordinates48°50′58″N 2°22′18″E / 48.849383°N 2.371556°E / 48.849383; 2.371556
Created1993; 31 years ago (1993)
Operated byParis municipality Edit this at Wikidata

The Coulée verte René-Dumont or Promenade plantée René-Dumont (French for 'Planted walkway [fr] [of] René Dumont') is a 4.7 km (2.9 mi) elevated linear park built on top of obsolete railway infrastructure in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was inaugurated in 1993.


A view of the Coulée verte in summer
Another view of the Coulée verte.

This Promenade plantée in Paris is an extensive green belt that follows the old Vincennes railway line. Beginning just east of the Opéra Bastille with the elevated Viaduc des Arts, it follows a 4.7 km (2.9 miles) path eastward that ends at a spiral staircase leading to the boulevard Périphérique beltway. At its west end near the Bastille, the parkway rises 10 metres (33 ft) above the surrounding area and forms the Viaduc des Arts, over a line of shops featuring the work of specialized craftsmen. The shops are located in the arches of the former elevated railway viaduct, with the parkway being supported atop the viaduct. This portion of the parkway runs parallel to the avenue Daumesnil. The parkway crosses the Jardin de Reuilly near the rue Montgallet and descends to street level. At that point, it becomes a grassy mall and then follows the old railway direction below street level towards the east, passing through several tunnels. As it reaches the rue du Sahel, it splits, with one portion continuing to the beltway, and the other terminating in the square Charles-Péguy along the former path of a branch line that once linked to the Petite Ceinture railway.[1]

The Coulée verte passes between two buildings at rue Montgallet
A stairway leading up to the Coulée verte from the bottom of rue Montgallet

The elevated part of the route, on the viaduct, has some enclosed sections, as when it passes between modern buildings, and some open sections with expansive views. In addition to the Jardin de Reuilly and the square Charles-Péguy, the Promenade plantée also includes the Jardin de la gare de Reuilly, with its preserved but repurposed railway station, and the square Hector-Malot.[2] The western portion of the parkway may be accessed via stairways and elevators leading up to the elevated viaduct. This portion is reserved for pedestrians. The eastern portion of the parkway is accessible via ramps and stairways and is open to both pedestrians and cyclists. The west end can be reached from Bastille by walking 300 metres (980 ft) south on rue de Lyon, then left on avenue Daumesnil. The staircase entrance is immediately on the left where avenue Daumesnil enters rue de Lyon.[1]


The Gare de Vincennes at Place de la Bastille, the starting point of the original train line

This Promenade Plantée is built on the former tracks of the Vincennes railway line, which, beginning in 1859, linked the Gare de la Bastille train station to Verneuil-l'Étang, after passing through Vincennes.[3] It ceased operation on December 14, 1969; part of the line beyond Vincennes was integrated into Line A of the RER, while the Paris-Vincennes section was completely abandoned.[1]

Train on a bridge over avenue Ledru Rollin, late 19th century

Beginning in the 1980s, the area was renovated.[2] In 1984, the Bastille station was demolished to make way for the Opéra Bastille. The Reuilly section was designed in 1986; it incorporates the old commercial rail depot of Reuilly into a group of park areas. The Promenade Plantée was put into place at the same time in order to reuse the rest of the abandoned line between the Bastille and the old Montempoivre gate to the city. Landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux designed the parkway, which was inaugurated in 1993.[4] The arcades of the Viaduc des Arts were renovated in 1989 by architect Patrick Berger,[5] as was the new square Charles-Péguy.[1]

Paris' promenade was the first project in the world to repurpose elevated old railway lines into urban gardens.[1][4] Other repurposing projects have now been completed or are underway. The first phase of the High Line, a similar park on an old railway-viaduct in the West Side of Manhattan New York City, was completed in 2009.[6] The second phase was completed in 2011, bringing the total length of the High Line to 1.6 kilometres (1 mi);[7] the third phase opened in September 2014, completing the park.[8] Chicago has recently opened the nearly 4.8 kilometre (3-mi) Bloomingdale Trail, which will run through several city neighborhoods and allow bicycles.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

The Promenade Plantée appears in the film Before Sunset, directed by Richard Linklater in 2004 with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.[10] It is also mentioned in the science fiction novel Olympos, by Dan Simmons.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Campbell, Robert (12 March 2002). "Viaduc des Arts and Promenade Plantée: A Paris match?". Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Coulée verte René-Dumont (ex Promenade Plantée)". City of Paris. Archived from the original on 2018-07-06. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  3. ^ Association Sauvegarde de la Petite Ceinture (December 9, 2003). "La Coulée verte (ou promenade plantée) de la Bastille n'utilise-t'elle pas une partie de la petite ceinture ferroviaire?". Archived from the original on 2021-03-03.
  4. ^ a b Mathieux, Phillippe (7 April 2019). "La Coulée verte". Philippe Mathieux, Architecte. Archived from the original on 2020-08-11.
  5. ^ "Patrick Berger Architecte". Archived from the original on 2007-12-12.
  6. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (June 8, 2009). "First Phase of High Line Is Ready for Strolling". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  7. ^ Pesce, Nicole Lyn (June 7, 2011). "Hotly anticipated second section of the High Line opens, adding 10 blocks of elevated park space". Daily News. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ "Third and Final Phase Opens". The New York Times. September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  9. ^ "Bloomingdale Trail: History, background and frequently asked questions" (PDF). May 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
  10. ^ "Paris Elevated Rail Park Featured in Movie 'Before Sunset'". Friends of the High Line. August 12, 2004. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2014.

External links[edit]