Promenade Plantée: Paris’ Popular Urban Green Space Transformed from Abandoned Railway

(Image: Jean-Louis Zimmermann, cc-3.0)

We’ve explored New York City’s High Line Park in earlier articles, but the Promenade Plantée in Paris is a new find for Urban Ghosts – despite the fact that it predates the High Line by almost 20 years! Like New York’s revived industrial landmark, the Promenade Plantée, also known as the Coulée Verte, sees the transformation of 2.9 miles of abandoned railway line to create an elevated park in the heart of the European Capital.

(Image: Jean-Louis Zimmermann, cc-3.0)

Winding through the 12th arrondissement of Paris, the park follows the route of the defunct Vincennes railway, which operated between 1859 and 1969. Despite being partially abandoned for more than a decade, some visionary thinking saw the railway, and the viaduct that supported it, repurposed as an urban green space.

(Image: Patrick Janicek, cc-3.0)

Saved in the 1980s, the archways beneath the Viaduc des Arts now house skilled craftsmen and artisan workshops. The park itself was designed by landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux, and was inaugurated in 1993.

(Image: Patrick Janicek, cc-3.0)

Unlike those of the High Line, the railway tracks on Promenade Plantée have long since been removed and the flora appears less wild than its New York City counterpart. The former railway appeared in the 2004 film Before Sunset starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (the sequel to Before Sunrise, which featured Vienna’s Cemetery of the Nameless).



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