Unless you feel like risking radioactivity, urban rivers are probably not really a place you’d consider taking a dip in.
However, Paris has unveiled plans to make the River Seine clean enough to swim in by 2017. They’re hoping that this added appeal will increase their chances of winning the bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Anyone who has strolled along the banks of the Seine, or has shared a baguette and a bottle of wine on the quais, will likely recall that the actual water running through the City of Lights is not as enticing or romantic as other of its features. In fact, according to Travel + Leisure, the Seine’s water is so dirty that swimming in it is currently illegal.
A plan released by Paris’ City Hall earlier this month outlines 43 steps that Paris would undertake to have a better shot at hosting the Olympics, according to French news publication Le Journal du Dimanche.
One of the components of the proposal is to clean up the canals and rivers around Paris to make them suitable for sunbathers and swimmers, but also for competitions like the Olympic triathlon.
Other elements of Paris’ ambitious plan for Olympic glory include a new métro line, increased bicycle and pedestrian access to venues, and a plan to harvest energy produced by cyclists and pedestrians to offset energy costs.
Details can be found on the Paris 2024 website. Paris has bid for the Summer Olympics, unsuccessfully, in 1992, 2008, and 2012. The games were last held there in 1924.
Cities that win the coveted job of hosting the Olympics prepare for years in order to welcome hundreds of thousands of tourists and world class athletes from across the globe. Rio is currently struggling to show the world that it is prepared to host the Olympics this August, amidst the Zika health threat, political unrest, and reports of unsteady infrastructure.
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