Aware of their city's upcoming turn under the Olympic spotlight, Tokyo officials are working on numerous redevelopment projects and neighborhood improvement schemes before the onrush of international visitors, including moving its famous Tsukiji Market. According to a report in Quartz, one of the more intriguing concepts involves replicating a signature part of the Parisian cityscape. As the name suggests, the Champs-Élysées Project seeks to create a "promenade full of vibrancy and international flavor," according to Governor of Tokyo Yoichi Masuzoe. The first street receiving a makeover will be a section of Loop Road No. 2 which runs between the Toranomon neighborhood, home to the Toranomon Hills skyscraper, and the Shinbashi station area. Planners hope the addition of fake cobblestones and wider roads will encourage outdoor dining and more street-level engagement from local businesses.
The government announced the program last year, promising that a simplified application process would speed up the task of setting up sidewalk cafes. So far, there aren't many signs of progress. According to the Quartz piece, long stretches of the street are currently filled with construction equipment, and only one business, the Good Morning Café, seems to be offering the type of outdoor experience the project is envisioning. There's still plenty of time; hopefully the rollout goes better than some of the city's other Olympic projects.
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