Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon … Struck by the Covid-19, the city centers of metropolitan areas are wasting away

SURVEY – With the health crisis, the liveliest districts of France have emptied. This disaffection is likely to last. The city officials are worried.

The most beautiful avenue in the world has turned into a sad showcase for the crisis. Since March, life has slowed down on the Champs-Élysées: wealthy tourists, businessmen and onlookers no longer throng on its wide sidewalks. The terraces are closed, the “flagships”, these stores which are the international showcase of fashion brands, have only residual activity. They rub shoulders with vacant commercial premises, restaurants and closed cinemas.

Struck by the Covid-19, the Champs-Élysées presented several comorbidities: out of 100 visitors, 72 are tourists; a large proportion of the district’s employees work from home. “The impact on the activity is gigantic, deplores Jean-Noël Reinhardt, president of the Champs-Élysées Committee. The avenue is a magnifying glass of normal life. When things are going well, things are much better; when things go badly, it’s worse than elsewhere. In the long term, the Champs will retain all their attractiveness.

In the long term, maybe. But at the moment there is 20% vacancy

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