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August 2, 2022

Paris beats the heat with ‘urban cold' grid beneath the streets

  • City officials have signed an ambitious contract to triple the size of the network by 2042.
  • By THOMAS ADAMSON and NICO GARRIGA
    Associated Press

    PARIS — The Mona Lisa may maintain her famously enigmatic smile because she benefits from one of Paris' best-kept secrets: An underground cooling system that's helped the Louvre cope with the sweltering heat that has broken temperature records across Europe.

    The little-known “urban cold” network snakes unsuspecting beneath Parisians' feet at a depth of up to 98 feet, pumping out icy water through 55 miles of labyrinthine pipes, which is used to chill the air in over 700 sites. The system, which uses electricity generated by renewable sources, is the largest in Europe — and chugs on around the clock with a deafening noise totally inaudible above ground.


     
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