Coulée verte René-Dumont
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View of the Promenade Plantée, looking west
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The Coulée verte René-Dumont or Promenade plantée (French for tree-lined walkway) or the Coulée verte (French for green course) 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.
The Promenade plantée 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 mi) 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 m above the surrounding area and forms the Viaduc des Arts, over a line of shops featuring high quality and expensive arts and crafts. 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 intersects 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.
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 unused railway station, and the square Hector-Malot. Other abandoned railways have been converted into parks and parkways, but the Promenade Plantée was the first green space constructed on an elevated viaduct.
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 m 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.
The Promenade Plantée is built on the former tracks of the Vincennes railway line, which beginning in 1859 linked the Bastille station to Verneuil-l'Étang, passing through Vincennes. 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.
Beginning in the 1980s, the area was renovated. In 1984, the Bastille station was demolished to make way for the Opéra Bastille. The Reuilly area 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. The arcades of the Viaduc des Arts were renovated in 1989, as was the new square Charles-Péguy.
Paris' 4.7 kilometres (2.9 mi) parkway was the only elevated park in the world for some years, until 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. The second phase was completed in 2011, bringing the total length of the High Line to 1 mile; the third phase opened in September 2014, completing the park. Chicago has recently opened the nearly 3-mile Bloomingdale Trail, which will run through several city neighborhoods and allow bicycles.
In popular culture
The Promenade Plantée appears in the film Before Sunset, directed by Richard Linklater in 2004 with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. It is also mentioned in the science fiction novel Olympos, by Dan Simmons.
- List of parks and gardens in Paris
- High Line, elevated park in Manhattan, New York City
- Bloomingdale Trail, similar planned elevated park in Chicago
- Lowline, planned underground park in Manhattan, New York City
- Harsimus Stem Embankment, planned rail trail in Jersey City, New Jersey
- Maidashi ryokuchi, a park in Fukuoka, Japan
- Queensway, planned rail trail in Queens, New York City
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC)
- Reading Viaduct, planned rail trail in Philadelphia
- Greenway, London
- The Duddeston Viaduct, Birmingham, England
- The Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta, Georgia
- Promenade Verte, Brussels, Belgium
- Campbell, Robert (12 March 2002). "Viaduc des Arts and Promenade Plantée: A Paris match?". Boston.com. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Pogrebin, Robin (June 8, 2009). "First Phase of High Line Is Ready for Strolling". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
- 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.
- "Third and Final Phase Opens". The New York Times. September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
- "Bloomingdale Trail: History, background and frequently asked questions" (pdf). May 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- "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.
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