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Old October 29th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #201
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The abject failure of Le Corbusier's disastrous Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles clearly demonstrates the French dislike of such "house is a machine for living" theories.
The Unité d'Habitation in Marseille is neither disastrous nor a failure. Actually far from that since it's considered as a desirable place to live and has become a touristic curiosity.
It's a pity that people always tend to think of Le Corbusier's work in caricatural terms and make him (wrongfully) responsible for all the things that went bad in 20th century urbanism.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #202
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I know Rue d'Auteuil but it isn't different of any street of tye double digit arrondissement. Even these streets could have taller and more modern buildings. We seriously lack of housing and I don't think that outer suburbs far to mass transit are the best area to build a lot of appartements.

About the social housing I know that inner Paris is not the worst but unlike the other municipalities this one is central. It does have a lot of transportation, it is close to anything.
We shouldn't have the same law about housing in the central core that in the periphery.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #203
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Why ??? As far I know, France had nothing to do with the Rainbow Warrior accident.. Besides, that's what our independent media told us !!
They didn't say they were "frog-men" for nothing you know!
And of course it was an "accident" as you say, ...the side of the ship just happened to fall off and it sunk. I'm sure your independent media said it could have happen to anyone!
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So, the rooms are far from being spectacular, despite the domed ceiling for some of them.
Now THAT is disappointing, ...I was imagining all sorts of spectacular decorating possiblities. Still, as you say the views must be wonderful, specially not blocked by some high rise.
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Anyway, sometimes I wonder if your problem really is Paris and its urban plan , but the wealthy/upper class people ???
Parcdesprinces, the very same thought has occurred to me also.
Minato ku, why are just about all your posts read as some huge socialist grudge that you cannot afford to live in provided social housing right in the very middle of Paris, or more grudges against the wealthy, ..or the schools being elitist? You could try setting up a guillotine in Place de la Concorde again, but I think that period of history might be over, and it's now generally accepted that very desirable housing areas will be very expensive.
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Here is an example of the so called "boring districts", which according to you "lacks new constructions":
And can anyone please explain to me why any area that "lacks new construction" necessarily equates as "boring"?
I can name whole suburbs that consist of nothing else but new constructions that are dead boring to the extreme.
I think SOME sense of history is appropriate, because to paraphrase George Santayana : those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
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The Unité d'Habitation in Marseille is neither disastrous nor a failure. Actually far from that since it's considered as a desirable place to live and has become a touristic curiosity.
They must have recently done quite a bit of work upgrading it then. When I last saw it, ...as a tourist curiosity of course, ...it was covered in spray-can graffiti and looking very run-down. Indeed, demolition was being mentioned! I am quite an admirer of SOME of Le Corbusier's work, but I truly think he misjudged the human psyche when he put up this one. There aren't many people who desire to live in a machine, .....or even a "tourist curiosity" for that matter. (Wonder if I can rent out that tiny appartement ontop the Eiffel Tower?)
Unite d'Habitation's decline has been very rapid for a "new" building by a famous architect, no?
OK, so it's not exactly a slum, ...but it will do till we find one.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 04:00 AM   #204
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but fortunately your (socialist)solutions or utopic visions (e.g. Ile de la Cité) are not going to become reality !
The Hôtel Dieu is earmarked for demolition. It's being talked more and more in the Paris City Hall.

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Old October 30th, 2010, 04:05 AM   #205
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* Here is an example of the so called "boring districts", which according to you "lacks new constructions":

Rue d'Auteuil XVIe arr.
You're a hypocrite here. You know full well the residents around Rue d'Auteuil are up in arms because the Socialist city hall of Paris has decided to build social housing in that district (a modest building with some apartments for people with low incomes). That shows how open-minded and progressive is the mentality of people over there!
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Old October 30th, 2010, 05:13 AM   #206
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The Hôtel Dieu is earmarked for demolition. It's being talked more and more in the Paris City Hall.
Ah oui, ...demolition peut-etre, une fois ou l'autre ...but are they also planning to replace it with some social housing highrise project, eh?
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That shows how open-minded and progressive is the mentality of people over there!
And since when is making objections to the actual placement of social housing a gauge of open-mindedness and progression, ...or lack of it?
I'd be against plonking some down in the Champ de Mars, ...but hardly consider myself either closed-minded or non-progressive.
And why does this thread, supposedly about MEDIEVAL BUILDINGS, as I was so firmly reminded some time back, keep getting bogged down in the social housing issue?
Give it a thread of it's own if it's a "goer", ...and we'll all talk about it ...THERE!
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Old October 30th, 2010, 07:30 AM   #207
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You're a hypocrite here.
Am I ??? 'Cause I don't think so !

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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
You know full well the residents around Rue d'Auteuil are up in arms because the Socialist city hall of Paris has decided to build social housing in that district (a modest building with some apartments for people with low incomes).
All what I see is Brisavoine trying to argue about a district, while he doesn't know it apparently.......


Existing (since decades) social housings 15m away from rue d'Auteuil (rue Chanez/rue Herlanger):






Not to mention Avenue Mozart...



So, dear Brisavoine, try to learn a bit about the Bertrand's projects in Auteuil...and then we will discuss them !
(because, about "his" projects planned here, if there is an issue it's certainly not the word "social"....)!

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That shows how open-minded and progressive is the mentality of people over there!
Says the guy who lives in the VIIIe.....

Quoi qu'il en soit, ça montre aussi que certains, ouverts d'esprit ou pas...s'écoutent parler... tout en ne sachant absolument pas de quoi ils parlent !

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Old October 30th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #208
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Those you are not employed for the tourist trade are 96% of workers (This include Taxi, restaurants...) and most of the money from the tourism (3% of Paris GDP) come from business visitors who care more about the convention center and the office buildings than the monuments.

Now I never said that we should destroy monuments or nice historic district like le Marais, I said that Paris is not a museum made for the tourists. We could build modern building if we want.
Transforming inner Paris in a museum would badly affect the economy in the city and complicate the lives of 12 million people.

Many people overrate too much the importance of tourism in Paris.
All this is very interesting, given that the fight for the right mix of the old and new has been faught in many places around the world.

For a city to be successful there needs to be a level of progress, but losing too much can also hurt the city.

You say that tourism is overrated in he Paris economy, but theres more to it than that. Tourism emcompasses so much, and changing its successful product may actualy harm the attractiveness of the city as an investment opportunity, if its not done right.

My city, Melbourne, faught for a progress agenda in the 50s through to the 70's. So much was lost, but a decent amount of the old was kept. There were many reasons stated, including fire regulations, the need for modern floorplates in office buildings, less maintenance and developers desires to create and invest in the future (ultimately making money).

There are many that now regret that many buildings have gone, as they would now be very iconic for the city, and many of those 'modern' towers that replaced them are now considered ugly and are being torn down too.

Its hard to get that balance right, as no one wants to see a city stagnate and decline because of lack of investment or demand, turning the city into a museum of the past fortunes (ie. Venice).

In saying that though, Paris already has La Defense, which is its high rise sector, and a great planning achievement. Changing the dynamics of areas of the city to include new housing options can work, but should be done in line with strategic plans of where and why it is needed. If other areas of the city can continue to prosper without the need of taller and modern towers, there really is a questionmark over why change for the sake of it is needed. Thats the key issue, is it really needed, or is it a modernist a agenda that developers and some in the comunity want to propel forwards?
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Old October 30th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #209
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They must have recently done quite a bit of work upgrading it then. When I last saw it, ...as a tourist curiosity of course, ...it was covered in spray-can graffiti and looking very run-down. Indeed, demolition was being mentioned! I am quite an admirer of SOME of Le Corbusier's work, but I truly think he misjudged the human psyche when he put up this one. There aren't many people who desire to live in a machine, .....or even a "tourist curiosity" for that matter. (Wonder if I can rent out that tiny appartement ontop the Eiffel Tower?).

Rundown ? Graffiti-covered ? I would be curious to see pics of that...
Demolition being mentioned ????
Defintely, you must confuse it with another building in Marseille then...
FYI, the Unité d'Habitations is classed as a "monument historique" since 1995, which means that it can't be demolished.


BTW, there is another one Unité d'Habitations in Rezé (near Nantes) and it's also, as the one in Marseille, a touristic curiosity (you can visit it) and a desirable place to live. The only one Unité d'Habitations which has gained a bad reputation over the years is the one of Firminy (near Saint-Etienne), but it is more due to its surroundings than to the building itself.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #210
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Melb_aviator, La Defense is not the CBD of Paris nor the largest business district and la Defense is far to be enouth for a city of 12 million inhabitants. This district will never have huge number of transportation that Central Paris have.
93% of Paris office space is outside La Defense, many are in Central Paris but many others are in boring business park where it is impossible to come without a car.
I don't want to destroy everything in Central Paris, most buildings will stay but I don't think that everything should stay. Many old buildings are very plain and worth nothing, we will lose nothing by remplacing these.

About high-rises, I don't imagine these everywhere in Central Paris but only near Montparnasse, Saint Lazare and Gare de Lyon.
In Montparnasse there is already some towers, Saint Lazare is inside Paris CBD and Gare de Lyon is the beginning of a big easter business district there are already many office mid-rises in the area. Many of these could be remplaced.

About tourism, we built an ugly mall in the heart of the city, we build Montparnasse tower, there are high-rises close to the Eiffel tower, all the way between CDG Airport and Central Paris is quite ghetto, our métro is overcrowded dirty and hot, we had riots, big strikes, prices are increadibely high.... but we have a lot of tourists.
I think that the only way to really threat the tourism industry is a nuclear war, a nuclear bomb on Paris.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #211
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On the oposite, other industries can be threat by the lack of offices space, housing for employes and etc.
These other industries are the very large majority of the economy and jobs.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #212
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You say that tourism is overrated in he Paris economy, but theres more to it than that. Tourism emcompasses so much, and changing its successful product may actualy harm the attractiveness of the city as an investment opportunity, if its not done right.
Of course it is so much more, couldn't agree more. Many people think nothing of tourism revenues taking a dive and how badly affected an entire city population can be when visitorship goes down drastically, in terms of knock-on effect from one business to another, all the way down the chain, from a waiter or delivery man to a cleaner in a far reaching suburban industrial estate supplying to the tourist industry in the center of town.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #213
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All what I see is Brisavoine trying to argue about a district, while he doesn't know it apparently.......


I shop in this Monoprix. Do I need to describe the inside?


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Existing (since decades) social housings 15m away from rue d'Auteuil (rue Chanez/rue Herlanger):
Club Med Gym, 840 euros (1,170 US dollars) for a one year basic membership without even a coach. Very very social...
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Old October 30th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #214
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...

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Old October 31st, 2010, 03:57 AM   #215
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The Hôtel Dieu is earmarked for demolition. It's being talked more and more in the Paris City Hall.
Should we be concerned, ...at all?
Okay Hotel Dieu ain't exactly the eighth wonder of the world but let's examine just a few of Paris' other "planned" demolitions.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame itself was marked for demolition and it's very stones put up for sale. A potential buyer had even been found, the 'Citoyen Simon', Claude-Henri de Rouvroi Saint-Simon. He even arrived with his waggons to collect his stones, but the cathedral was reprieved at the last minute and finally even restored.
Chateau de Versailles was certainly considered for demolition too, .....and yet?
The Eiffel Tower, .....intended for demolition 20 years after construction; ...and remember the "artistic" crowd hated it and wanted it gone, ...but it was still standing last time I looked.
The Jeu de Paume and l'Orangerie? Also marked for demolition but they continue to stand, of course with modern conversions.
The Grand Palais, .....monumental though it was/is, ......was intended to be pulled down, as was the Petit Palais. Both still defy demolition.
Gare d'Orsay, ..now Musee d'Orsay also an intended victim of demolition, now a National Treasure.
There are probably many more, as there are in any city.
My point is that apart from the Bastille, Parisians don't demolish anything without debating for some considerable time, ...and then frequently do nothing either due to changes in the government of public feeling. As an "outsider", (yes, I do know that's what I am, although I reside there for a considerable time each year) I have noticed that there seems to be a love of the shock value of announcing anything prominent is about to fall victim to the wreckers, (particularly from a socialist pack) ...or something controversially modern will be built, preferably shoved up against some historical sacred cow. There's a fascination with being seen as "Avant-garde" before anything else.
It's old hat now but the I.M. Pei pyramid in the Louvre courtyard was a perfect example of what I mean. (Another modern construction that's already in trouble! Those damn ornamental pools will insist on continuing to leak water down into the foyer below! I've seen the drips and the barricades around the pools on the floor down below! Who did the waterproof membrane on THAT job? )
Sure the Hotel Dieu is currently under discussion as a potential victim of the wrecker's hammer, ...but it's far from a done deal, despite all the theatrical posturing down at City Hall.
There have indeed certainly been ruthless demolitions in the past, the subject of much of this thread but there's many a slip between hand and lip, .....as all the above buildings that remain standing attest to.
Now feel very free to shout me down here, ...and some of you will no doubt, but again, as an admitted outsider, IMHO a list of demolitions I'd like to see would be topped by that boring mind-numbingly ugly huge bloody black thing currently stabbed into the heart of Montparnasse, .....followed by that explosion of twisted guts, concrete cancer and rusting sewer pipes steadily decaying over in the Beaubourg. Yes, THAT one I have already caused someone here such concern with a previous post .
Sure even I appreciated it's self-conscious attempt at "modernity" at the time, the cutesy simplistic primary colour coding....even it's in-your-face attitude towards the rest of Paris, but nothing dates as quick as the super avant-garde and now it's time for something even better to house the incomparable collection within.
It was always "trade-fair" architecture, going for eye-catching spectacle outside with little regard for function inside. (Don't worry Parisians, I freely admit we've got one of those too back in Australia, ...called "The Sydney Opera House".)
Even Piano himself, when pressed, admitted his building probably would not last. Besides, what a wonderfully huge and exciting vacant canvas it's demolition would leave.
Yes, a real spot for all the modern architects to play with, ...prime central Parisian real estate too! Why, the debate of just what to build could rage for years alone!
{thinks: Hmmm, ....now that last bit should set off a few fireworks here...! still it's always great to see an active thread with exchange of ideas happening.}
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Old November 1st, 2010, 01:40 AM   #216
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So, Tours, ...or tours?

Okay, ..so as you will all instantly recognise of course, ..IT"S NOT PARIS!
(Moderator, please feel free to delete this post if that fact in itself makes this post off-topic, ... but it IS about medieval buildings, which I vaguely remember sometime back being reminded was the designated theme of this thread.)
Sorry, but it is of course TOURS, ..I drove down and took these because they ARE examples of medieval buildings being used in a 21st century situation. I would have used medieval Parisian buildings, but they are few and not so prominent as these. Now I have not been inside any of them so I don't know to what extent they are preserved internally, or if it's just facadism at it's best/worst.
I thought these recent pics might add to the conversation here about whether remnants from medieval times can and do contribute anything to a city either aesthetically or functionally, ...or should they all be demolished immediately as merely quaint old "tour"-isty leftovers from the past. Then they could be replaced by modern concrete, glass and steel mass housing projects so the low income demographic could achieve their egalitarian socialist dream by living right in the city centre? Just like those nasty rich will insist on doing? (Ultra-Cheap supermarkets being provided on the lower floors , ..and all those tourist-catering parasitic businesses currently cluttering up the square with their rampant capitalism evicted too of course!)
The pics might give us some idea of what Paris COULD have looked like if more of the medieval buildings pre-Haussmann had been preserved as carefully as these so obviously have in Tours.
To me they would certainly qualify as "picturesque", ......if that has not become a DIRTY WORD here on this site, (..and in modern architectural circles where Brutalism still has quite a firm hold.)
Of course the zealots of socialism here amongst us may see them as useless, boring, ugly old anachronisms with no place in the 21st century, just standing in the way of their utopian brave new world order, when those sites are so obviously ideal for a cheap-&-cheerless chain of High-rise Hovels for the Homeless....
( All doorways specifically widened to accommodate those very large chips on the shoulder...)
Would Tours, or indeed the collective human record itself lose anything significant if they were to be knocked down immediately and replaced with totally modern utilitarian designs? Did Paris lose anything of value when the demolitions occurred, ...or does it have a right to be a "modern" city just like anywhere else without a history to hold it back?
Your thoughts?












OK, ...now this one below IS Paris, ....the street has got to be medieval, (or Diagon Alley complete with passing witch?). The buildings have had a bit of later work, but I'm betting Baron Haussmann never got anywhere near this.

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Old November 1st, 2010, 03:18 AM   #217
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Sorry, but it is of course TOURS, ..I drove down and took these because they ARE examples of medieval buildings being used in a 21st century situation.
Half of the Medieval heart of Tours was destroyed by the German Luftwaffe in June 1940.





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Old November 1st, 2010, 08:19 AM   #218
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Half of the Medieval heart of Tours was destroyed by the German Luftwaffe in June 1940.
Truly a horrendous and mindless act of sheer barbarity boisavine, ...along with so many other destroyed art and architectural masterpieces, ....think Dresden for just a single example, ...and that was the so-called Allies! That's what tends to happen when the boys are just let loose with the toys....and also probably accounts for Tours reluctance to further destroy anything that did remain after the senseless vandalism.

On the other hand, more than half medieval Paris was destroyed willingly and deliberately by it's very own citizens!
This has been a repeated action. The 18th century had it in for the "gothic", carrying out wholesale demolitions and make-overs, ....Notre Dame being just one of the targets. During the Revolution anything reminiscent of the Ancien Regime, the monarchy or aristocracy came in for extremely vehement vandalism , ...oh and poor old Notre Dame copped it, ...AGAIN!.
However nothing matched the sheer scale of the changes that were to come later.
It's so often erroneously stated that Paris was not bombed, .....(in truth Paris itself has been shelled on several occasions of course), but the destruction suffered was certainly nowhere near as widespread as that sanctioned by it's own government, and carried out by Haussmann.
It must be remembered though that there were benefits to the reconstruction too. It wasn't just all wanton negative wholesale devastation, ...such as happens in a war or an insurgence , leaving nothing but a pile of smouldering rubble.
However, there are many cities such as London, ...and even one as comparatively young as Sydney which are choking now due to historical poor layouts having endured into the 21st century.
I always wondered why London did not tend to take the grand opportunity offered by the otherwise disastrous Great Fire to re-design much of the old road system, ...but of course they could never have foreseen the car and all it's associated problems, ..nor the relatively modern need for most of the population to be moving around every day.
We could ask just what's SO great about medieval buildings that they need to be preserved at all?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 01:48 PM   #219
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Melb_aviator, La Defense is not the CBD of Paris nor the largest business district and la Defense is far to be enouth for a city of 12 million inhabitants. This district will never have huge number of transportation that Central Paris have.
93% of Paris office space is outside La Defense, many are in Central Paris but many others are in boring business park where it is impossible to come without a car.
I don't want to destroy everything in Central Paris, most buildings will stay but I don't think that everything should stay. Many old buildings are very plain and worth nothing, we will lose nothing by remplacing these.

About high-rises, I don't imagine these everywhere in Central Paris but only near Montparnasse, Saint Lazare and Gare de Lyon.
In Montparnasse there is already some towers, Saint Lazare is inside Paris CBD and Gare de Lyon is the beginning of a big easter business district there are already many office mid-rises in the area. Many of these could be remplaced.

About tourism, we built an ugly mall in the heart of the city, we build Montparnasse tower, there are high-rises close to the Eiffel tower, all the way between CDG Airport and Central Paris is quite ghetto, our métro is overcrowded dirty and hot, we had riots, big strikes, prices are increadibely high.... but we have a lot of tourists.
I think that the only way to really threat the tourism industry is a nuclear war, a nuclear bomb on Paris.
Im well aware that its not the only business area, but concentrating taller buildings in designated areas, like La Defense has, is a smart planning move. It is important that such areas are developed, without ruining what the city is famous for.

As I has stated, I agree that its a very hard mix to get right, but in the end, knocking things down for the sake of progress may come back to haunt future generations.

Smart planning is needed, and an integrated plan of which areas may be designated for future development, taking into account the importance to the city of such developments, and its overall affect on the city as a whole.

As for your comments on tourists coming, they will not if the essense of the city is lost. Some areas may be ghetto, but you will find that they are not the areas that tourists go to. All cities have their areas that they are not proud of, but its important to preserve the strengths you have, which Paris has many.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 06:05 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by LeStryge View Post
On the other hand, more than half medieval Paris was destroyed willingly and deliberately by it's very own citizens!
This has been a repeated action. The 18th century had it in for the "gothic", carrying out wholesale demolitions and make-overs, ....Notre Dame being just one of the targets. During the Revolution anything reminiscent of the Ancien Regime, the monarchy or aristocracy came in for extremely vehement vandalism , ...oh and poor old Notre Dame copped it, ...AGAIN!.
However nothing matched the sheer scale of the changes that were to come later.
It's so often erroneously stated that Paris was not bombed, .....(in truth Paris itself has been shelled on several occasions of course), but the destruction suffered was certainly nowhere near as widespread as that sanctioned by it's own government, and carried out by Haussmann.
And so that's why you want to preserve the work of the 19th century destroyers (the Haussmaniacs) at all cost? Talk of a Stockholm syndrome!
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