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Related: Paris - boulevards - architecture
Baron Haussmann's massive renovation (1852 - 1870) of the city created amazing perspectives and broad boulevards, but also replaced poorer neighborhoods and created fast routes to move troops through the city to quell unrest. It set the foundation of what is today the popular representation of the French capital around the world, by changing the old Paris with its picturesque alleyways into a modern city with wide avenues and open spaces.
Georges-Eugène, Baron Haussmann (March 27, 1809 - January 11, 1891) was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris. He was born in that city of a Protestant family, German in origin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Haussmann [Aug 2004]
Guy Debord [...]Historical conditions determine what is considered “useful.” Baron Haussmann’s urban renewal of Paris under the Second Empire, for example, was motivated by the desire to open up broad thoroughfares allowing for the rapid circulation of troops and the use of artillery against insurrections. But from any standpoint other than that of facilitating police control, Haussmann’s Paris is a city built by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Present-day urbanism’s main problem is ensuring the smooth circulation of a rapidly increasing number of motor vehicles. A future urbanism will undoubtedly apply itself to no less utilitarian projects, but in the rather different context of psychogeographical possibilities. --Guy Debord, Les Lèvres Nues #6 (September 1955).
Urban PlanningIt is understandable that while modern urban planning has not yet made itself worthy of the name art, let alone that of a cadre de vie, it has, on the other hand, always found inspiration in police detectives; after all, Haussmann only gave us these boulevards to make it easier to roll cannons through them. --potlatch #5, information bulletin of the french section of the lettrist international, 20 July 1954 via http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/presitu/potlatch5.html [Jul 2004]
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