After Notre-Dame, its surroundings: once the cathedral reopens to the public on December 8, its surroundings will be redeveloped sector by sector for a period of three years, from 2025 to 2028, Paris town hall said on Wednesday during a hearing in the Assembly. Once the planning and building permits have been submitted in the summer of 2024, “we will be able to start the work in the summer of 2025,” indicated Jean-François Mangin, head of the major projects mission at the general secretariat of the town hall. of Paris, to the deputies Anne Brugnera (Renaissance) and Julien Odoul (RN), at the head of the working group responsible for monitoring the conservation and restoration of the cathedral.

“All this will take us two years, two and a half years, from 2025 to 2027, in small pieces. (…) We have at least until the end of 2028 to finalize everything,” added Mr. Mangin, for whom the division of the site into sectors also meets the need to “systematically leave space for the public “.

A budget of 50 million euros is planned for this redevelopment desired by the Paris town hall, in agreement with the State and the diocese.

The project selected at the end of June 2022, that of the Belgian landscaper Bas Smets, aims to develop the green spaces around the cathedral, to give the square the appearance of a “clearing”, he explained again. “The idea is to create a 400 m long promenade” going from the Hôtel-Dieu, north of the square, to the Memorial of the Martyrs of the Deportation located in a square at the eastern tip of the Île de la Cité .

A controversy arose in the spring of 2023 around the redevelopment of the 19th century square surrounding the apse of the cathedral: between the installation of modern furniture and public accessibility to the lawn and the square at any time, the gates being removed, the town hall was accused of wanting to modernize it too much. The traditional Parisian Davioud benches, “we’re keeping them all, we’re even going to put more,” reassured Bas Smets, who wants to “expand the lawn around the Virgin’s fountain” in this location and “remove the parking spaces” on the street between the two squares.

As for the gates surrounding the two squares, they will be maintained but perhaps moved, in accordance with the opinion of the National Heritage and Architect Commission (CNPA), representatives of the town hall told AFP.