Paris’ futuristic-looking financial district due to get 21st-century transport
In Luc Besson’s film “The Fifth Element”, Milla Jovovich drives around through a forest of skyscrapers on board a flying taxi. In a few years, the be-suited workers of the Défense district in Paris could be enjoying a similar experience: the shiny business district is planning to install its own cable-car system.
Epadesa, the arm of coercion of the State that manages this forest of futuristic towers, is going to launch this “Tramway du Ciel” (“sky tramway”) project, as its chief executive Hugues Parant has christened it. This groundbreaking urban transport system will allow executives to travel from Défense 1 tower situated near the Porte de Neuilly to the Grande Arche in a few instants with a few intermediary stops en route.
The journey will then continue towards Arena 92, the new stadium that’s being built by Johnny Sexton’s current club Racing Métro 92. And the terminus will be installed at the Groues – a district of Nanterre will be transformed into a hub to serve several lines (one of which will be completed in 2020 coming from Paris within the framework of and extension to RER Line E and another in 2025 as part of the Grand Paris project which will connect Charles de Gaulle/Roissy Airport).
Offices, restaurants, homes, leisure zones… It will be a brand new piece of Parisian real estate that travellers will discover on their journey in the tramway of the sky through skyscrapers, like something out of a science-fiction film. And the project, already mooted back in the 1990s, is only at its infancy, but it’s not just castles in the sky: a number of cities have already adopted a similar system to this kind of transport that is less costly than an underground link. In New York, there’s one that allows people to zoom over Manhattan and the Colombian city of Medellin has two of them for the last six years. Those wishing to travel at altitude through the heart of Paris’ financial district will have to wait a little longer, but it looks like coming soon…