Paris is a built environment of about 12 million people in its greater metropolitan area. Add to this the more than 30 million tourists who flock to the city every year, and the potential (and reality) for pollution is sobering. What is being done for the generations of the future?
Being one of those 30 million foreign visitors, it would be presumptuous of me to criticise or to give advice. However, there is one aspect of Paris which I find wonderful. The amount of green space and parkland.
My visit this time, seems to be a combination of the living and the dead: parks and cemeteries. In addition to The Tuileries, Jardins des Luxembourg and Jardins des Plantes, I have also wandered through Parc Monceau (8eme) and Parc Laboure (7eme). I have more in the planning stage for my remaining days.
The gratifying aspect of this, is that the people of this city actually use their parks. They are giant outdoor living rooms. They are backyards for apartment dwellers. They are reading rooms, soccer fields, running tracks. They are alive with tall trees and small trees. With beds overflowing with blooms, and beds still fallow until the last of the cold disappears. They attract pigeons and crows, sparrows and grey wagtails. And the black birds. The black-birds chirrup to their heart's content deep within these great big Parisian lungs.