Paris mayor's race offers chance to reimagine city

Associated Press
This computer image provided in March 2014 by Laisne Architectes shows an abandoned Paris subway station turned into a swimming pool, part of conservative candidate for Paris Mayor Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet's, known as NKM, plan to reimagine the city. Paris has 10 abandoned metro stations, mostly unseen as the trains hurtle through their darkened tunnels. NKM has a futuristic plan to transform these stations into public spaces like a swimming pool, performance hall or restaurant. (AP Photo/Oxo Archiract; Nicolas Laisne Architectes)

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The Paris mayor's race will give the city a new leader for the first time in 13 years and is offering a chance to reimagine one of the world's top tourist destinations.

No one — neither Parisians nor visitors — wants a complete transformation. It's not by accident that Paris barely looks different from the 19th century, when Emperor Napoleon III came up with a grand plan for grand boulevards and low, white stone buildings.

But the two candidates who will face a runoff on Sunday — Socialist Anne Hidalgo and conservative longshot Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, known as NKM among the initial-loving French — see room for improvement. Here is a slide show of their visions:

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