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As Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 Olympics, one of its more interesting infrastructure design projects is to make a part of town feel more like… Paris.
The Japanese capital is embarking on what it is calling the Champs-Élysées Project—named after the famous tree-lined Parisian shopping boulevard—aimed at “generating vibrancy and revitalizing communities through such measures as opening outdoor cafés on wide sidewalks.”
The first street that’s getting the treatment is a new section of Loop Road No. 2, which connects the Toranomon neighborhood—home to many government buildings and a newish skyscraper, Toranomon Hills—and the Shinbashi station area. It’s also a road that could play a key role in transit during the Olympics.
There’s not much to see yet. Today, it’s a boulevard with unusually wide sidewalks and bike lanes, both partially blocked by construction material. […]