Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, one of six candidates running for mayor of Paris, hopes to transform the city’s deserted subway stations into social, sporting, and cultural spaces.
Kosciusko-Morizet is the ex-Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing and currently a member of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement party.
According to her, there are 11 “ghost” stations across Paris which have never been opened or have shut down since as early as the 1930s.
In August, when she first proposed a makeover, she imagined that the subway stations could accommodate sporting activities such as fencing, rock climbing, and martial arts. Artists could benefit from spaces such as art galleries and theatres, and she imagined turning some stations into restaurants and nightclubs.
Only seven of the 11 abandoned stations are fit for the transformations, says Kosciusko-Morizet. They are Haxo, Porte-des-Lilas, Champ-de-Mars, Porte-Molitor, Arsenal, Croix-Rouge, and Saint-Martin.
Kosciusko-Morizet enlisted the help of architects Manal Rachdi and Nicolas Laisné to create renderings of potential ideas, which were released just ahead of the March election and feature Arsenal station transformed into a swimming pool, art gallery, nightclub, garden, restaurant, and theatre.
But these ideas are not set in stone. Once elected, Kosciusko-Morizet says she will ask Parisians to submit their own ideas on how to transform the stations.
However, CNN reports that despite the attention surrounding the subways, Anne Hidalgo of the Socialist Party is still the favourite and frontrunner in the race for mayor. Still, others believe the idea is so well-received that the stations can still get a makeover if Kosciusko-Morizet is not elected.
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