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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #81
brisavoine
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You want ugly pics of ugly West European cities? Here you go. Charleroi, Belgium. Previously one of the economic engines of Belgium, itself one of the biggest industrial countries during the Industrial Revolution, and now a city deep in crisis, with sky high unemployment and poverty. Probably one of the poorest areas in Western Europe. No offence meant to Walloon people of course, they are very nice people, and it's not their fault anyway, just a general economic decline that occured in all the specialized 19th century industrial cities.

So Charleroi, half a million people in its urban area:









General strike in Charleroi. The city is a Socialist stronghold.
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr






Charleroi court house:


Charleroi University:


But then no Western European city is truly completely ugly. There are always little pockets of nice urbanism. Even in Charleroi.

Charleroi city hall:


Aux Mille Colonnes pub:


Art Nouveau house:


Trying to emulate Paris. Charleroi world city!!


Et VIVE LA WALLONIE ! Quand même.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:35 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato ku View Post
Paris suburbs can be very beautiful or very ugly, it depend the place.
See Paris suburbs only as commies is fully wrong, the vast majority of Paris suburbs are not commies.

I always suprised to see how people can have soo wrong about some place, Do they really think that 80% of Paris urban area pop is poor and live in commies ?

Pictures of Paris suburbs.

Urban diversity in the Paris suburbs

Unusual views of Paris

I know a lot more ugly than Paris suburbs in Western Europe.
Nice pics!

What do you know of Cergy-Pontoise? How long does it take to get to central Paris from there? One of my university choices is in Cergy-Pontoise.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #83
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Charleroi only needs money to embellish the town. And I'm quite sensible to the University's architecture.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #84
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Places like Rotterdam, Middlesbrough, Gelschenkirchen, Lille, Badalona have little appeal to me. Too many post-war depressive buildings.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #85
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What I really hate in cities are red bricks being visible on the walls.

This kind of architecture is widely used in the UK, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in Northern Germany (less extensively) and in the suburbs of Spanish cities.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #86
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What? Bricks are beautiful. Plus I can't imagine what German and Scandinavian cities would look like w/o brick architecture.

image hosted on flickr


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Old February 13th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
What? Bricks are beautiful. Plus I can't imagine what German and Scandinavian cities would look like w/o brick architecture.
They would look like Munich and Stockholm respectively (both among my favorite cities)
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Old February 14th, 2008, 02:53 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastyathenian View Post
What I really hate in cities are red bricks being visible on the walls.

This kind of architecture is widely used in the UK, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in Northern Germany (less extensively) and in the suburbs of Spanish cities.
I love bricks. It beats plastered walls that get battered by the weather and turns green etc.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 03:37 AM   #89
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Major cities (500.000+ inhabitants): Athens, Naples (at least with the current 'problems')

Other cities:

Germany - Ludwigshafen, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen, Bochum
UK - Too many to mention
Belgium - Charleroi
Spain - Benidorm
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Old February 14th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #90
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I was in Napoli last year and must confess that I never saw an uglier and dirtier city in my whole life (maybe Athens and Jakarta some 18 years ago, but they improved at least). Unbelievable it was the same country as I just stayed a few days before in Milano

Also on the list: Charleroi, Dublin (don't know how it is today, but in the early 90s it was a horrible disappointment), Basel (even though improved a lot recently), Ludwigshafen.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 05:18 PM   #91
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It is annoying to hear some forumers say that Basel is an ugly city. Certainly it does not have the charm of Bern of Luzern, but it still looks much better than most European cities of its size.

As for Athens, in order to appreciate it you have to do what I do: move between the historic center, the southern suburbs and the northern suburbs and ignore the rest.

Historic center



Southern suburbs



Northern suburbs

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Old February 14th, 2008, 05:34 PM   #92
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I was extremly surprised by Athens when I was visiting it last year. What a development since 1990!!!!! Especially in the center, absolutly great (I was eating in one of these houses on the first pic )! The part north of it is still ghetto on the other hand, but has its charme

About Basel: some parts of the old town are really nice, and also some modern architecture, but the city looks very heavy and dark anyway, thanks to the big industry and traffic (all the trucks from Farnce and Germany go through there - although it got a bit better since they opened the tunnel).
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Old February 15th, 2008, 01:05 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giri View Post
Charleroi only needs money to embellish the town. And I'm quite sensible to the University's architecture.
That's where we need to find the ugliest cities : in devasted economical zones added to horrible local climatic weathers !

I was really surprise to see Athens in 1990 compared to today, even if there is lot of works to do, money makes things more beautiful (it's not eastern european cities that will comment about that !)

Economical devasted zones :

South Italy
Wallonia
Old coal areas of Germany, UK, France

and so on...

Dublin is surely not ugly considering economical growth around. Suburbs of european cities are quite similar overall... A city that i found incredibly ugly was A Coruña in Spain, assurely, spanish don't like oceanic weather for sure :op
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Old February 15th, 2008, 01:12 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekky II View Post
That's where we need to find the ugliest cities : in devasted economical zones added to horrible local climatic weathers !
Horrible weathers can add to charm. And my opinion is that uglyness is not decay. There are truly terrible towns that could not look beautiful even with much money invested in. Charleroi has good quality and classical buildings. Quite frankly, I think that most buildings built nowadays are uglier than Charleroi. Soulless gaudy pavillions are really no better (mas provençaux in French).

As far as I'm concerned, the worst towns are really in Spain.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:25 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Federicoft View Post
5 km far from central Venice

Venice is one of the world's most beautiful cities, but it still needs some industry, sewage treatment facilities and waste incineration, it doesn't make it ugly.

I saw that some people quoted Dublin. Well, maybe it was ugly in the early 90s but now it is far from deserving to be named amid ugliest cities. For example the dock area wich was a run-down dangerous industrial area is now full of office buildings and high-class residential buildings.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastyathenian View Post
What I really hate in cities are red bricks being visible on the walls.

This kind of architecture is widely used in the UK, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in Northern Germany (less extensively) and in the suburbs of Spanish cities.
Nothing wrong with bricks, maybe they are overused in NW Europe but they can look really good.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #97
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I think all nice cities have its ugly parts and most ugly cities have nice parts too.
There are plenty of ugly cities in Sweden with grey 60s modernism in the city centers...and I think there are many ugly cities in UK and Germany (but also many nice).
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Old February 15th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #98
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i don't know how no one said nothing about portuguese cities

Povoa do Varzim is Ugly
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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #99
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Quote:
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i don't know how no one said nothing about portuguese cities

Povoa do Varzim is Ugly
Don't say that, Povoa de Varzim holds a special place in the hearts of every Euroforumer on SSC
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #100
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True! Where the hell is PeterGabriel by the way? Don't tell he has a social life now.
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