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Old January 19th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #41
SkyDiveJunkee
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Vienna is certainly as beautiful as Paris, as is Venice, Barcelona, Sevilla. Paris, however, has an unmatched vibrancy and density spread across a very large area.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by AlekseyVT View Post
I also don't like in Paris that there are very few green areas in the city territory. In my city (Moscow) near almost every house there are small green lands, where childrens can play near home. In Paris, it's needs to specially walk in parks for it.

Finally, in Paris, I understand that word "boulevard" have many sences. Famous Grand Boulevards is no more than a streets with trees. In Moscow, word "boulevard" means a huge space, where is large green area in the centre (with alleys, fountains, small attractions for children play; where peoples can walk and rest), and two road rows for cars in the each of two edges. Therefore, it's possible freely walk in the city center.

I think it's one of the negative sides of Paris.
I really like those Moscow type of boulevards which are very wide. I associate them a bit with communism since I tend to find them in other parts of Europe (Eastern Europe) and East Germany (e.g. Karl Marx Allee in East Berlin) although maybe I'm wrong and those in Moscow were built before communism there. What I don't like are many of the concrete block buildings you'll find in Moscow when you get out of the historic center even if they are on wide boulevards with gardens, etc.

I think some people forget when the Paris boulevards and avenues that we associate with Haussmann buildings were created. Most were laid-out in the mid 19th c., probably prior to any signs of automobiles existing, and definitely prior to any idea that many people would easily be able to buy an automobile and that automobiles would be circulating the city with only one person in them. The word boulevard is French (avenue is also French) as you probably know and there is no doubt that other countries may have taken those concepts in later decades and made them even better or wider but at the time it was done for Paris such arterials were very wide and spacious if you consider how big and crowded Paris was already in the mid-19th c. Paris does have some boulevards with parkland strips in the middle but I think they a minority rather than the norm. Also, the enormous Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are technically inside the Paris jurisdiction. But I would agree those are rather far from the center.

I remember liking how wide roads are in Berlin when I visited twice and how spacious it is for a European city. I think it's a bit similar for Moscow. They just don't have the history of Paris. Paris was already an overgrown congested city with rather unattractive faubourgs (the first suburbs now well inside the city). Carving boulevards and avenues was already a cruel process for the lower-classes that it displaced. On top of that, Paris was already developing satellite towns before Haussmann came along. Those nearby towns that are now attached suburbs were already laying out there own narrow streets but Haussmann did not get to them so if you think Paris major roads are not wide enough just look at the near-suburbs. There are insufficient boulevards radiating out to the near suburbs or connecting them. There are motorways that radiate out from the Peripherique so maybe they thought that was good enough but motorways are ugly and even in dense Greater Paris they manage to create barriers and separate one side from the other.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #43
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Here are some samples of older Paris. All of these are from the 3rd and 4th arrondissements which includes Le Marais. You can find streets like this also in other central arrondissements, many with the narrow apartment buildings from the 1600s and 1700s. Just as a note, the area occupied by the 3rd and 4th arrondissements are as big or bigger than the downtowns or city-centres of many cities I know.




Many old pre-Haussmann buildings lean back



Not a narrow street but still has pre-Haussmann buildings











To contrast that, here is the more Haussmann feeling of the 8th and 17th arrondissements. This is in the west side, so it's especially Haussmann and post-Haussmann looking:
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #44
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Paris the ultimate city - there are many beautiful cities in Europe but somehow nothing comes up to Paris, despite those ugly suburbs surrounding the centre.
Time they did something about those instead of erecting even more bland office buildings in La Defense.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:51 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edubejar View Post
I really like those Moscow type of boulevards which are very wide. I associate them a bit with communism since I tend to find them in other parts of Europe (Eastern Europe) and East Germany (e.g. Karl Marx Allee in East Berlin) although maybe I'm wrong and those in Moscow were built before communism there. What I don't like are many of the concrete block buildings you'll find in Moscow when you get out of the historic center even if they are on wide boulevards with gardens, etc.

I think some people forget when the Paris boulevards and avenues that we associate with Haussmann buildings were created. Most were laid-out in the mid 19th c., probably prior to any signs of automobiles existing, and definitely prior to any idea that many people would easily be able to buy an automobile and that automobiles would be circulating the city with only one person in them. The word boulevard is French (avenue is also French) as you probably know and there is no doubt that other countries may have taken those concepts in later decades and made them even better or wider but at the time it was done for Paris such arterials were very wide and spacious if you consider how big and crowded Paris was already in the mid-19th c. Paris does have some boulevards with parkland strips in the middle but I think they a minority rather than the norm. Also, the enormous Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are technically inside the Paris jurisdiction. But I would agree those are rather far from the center.

I remember liking how wide roads are in Berlin when I visited twice and how spacious it is for a European city. I think it's a bit similar for Moscow. They just don't have the history of Paris. Paris was already an overgrown congested city with rather unattractive faubourgs (the first suburbs now well inside the city). Carving boulevards and avenues was already a cruel process for the lower-classes that it displaced. On top of that, Paris was already developing satellite towns before Haussmann came along. Those nearby towns that are now attached suburbs were already laying out there own narrow streets but Haussmann did not get to them so if you think Paris major roads are not wide enough just look at the near-suburbs. There are insufficient boulevards radiating out to the near suburbs or connecting them. There are motorways that radiate out from the Peripherique so maybe they thought that was good enough but motorways are ugly and even in dense Greater Paris they manage to create barriers and separate one side from the other.
As I said, for me one of main negative sides in Paris not only in boulevards (BTW, I don't like to classify the boulevards at "communistic", imperialistic" or "democratic"). The problem in absence of free space for leisure in general. In Moscow, there are many spaces between the houses (even in the center), where you can find a small courtyards, sit on the bench and take the rest in relative silence. This is not in Paris. When you leave the house, you always will be on the road street. If you need to find a place for rest, you must go to the park. This means that young mothers cann't walk near house with baby toddlers, school children cann't play near home in football or other games, and it's need to be on street for walking the dogs. However, this is in most European cities - not enough free space.

You also said: "What I don't like are many of the concrete block buildings you'll find in Moscow when you get out of the historic center even if they are on wide boulevards with gardens, etc." Please don't forget than territory of Moscow by square is ten times more than territory of Paris (1081 square km. against 105.4 square km.) and square of only one Moscow Central Administative District (66 square km.) is only less than one-third than area of Paris.

Last edited by AlekseyVT; January 19th, 2010 at 11:08 PM.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlekseyVT View Post
As I said, for me one of main negative sides in Paris not only in boulevards (BTW, I don't like to classify the boulevards at "communistic", imperialistic" or "democratic"). The problem in absence of free space for leisure in general. In Moscow, there are many spaces between the houses (even in the center), where you can find a small courtyards, sit on the bench and take the rest in relative silence. This is not in Paris. When you leave the house, you always will be on the road street. If you need to find a place for rest, you must go to the park. This means that young mothers cann't walk near house with baby toddlers, school children cann't play near home in football or other games, and it's need to be on street for walking the dogs. However, this is in most European cities - not enough free space.

You also said: "What I don't like are many of the concrete block buildings you'll find in Moscow when you get out of the historic center even if they are on wide boulevards with gardens, etc." Please don't forget than territory of Moscow by square is ten times more than territory of Paris (1081 square km. against 105.4 square km.) and square of only one Moscow Central Administative District (66 square km.) is only less than one-third than area of Paris.
I agree about Paris being very dense with limited space. Now imagine Paris today without the boulevards and avenues as it was prior to Haussmann yet with the same amount of suburbs that surround the city today (more than 300 municipalities that vary in size from a small to a large arrondissement of Paris).

OK I should not have made reference to Moscow's historic center because I don't know how much of Moscow that includes. I was referring to the area outside of The Garden Ring or B-Ring, which on an aerial map shows that those big concrete apartment blocks already begin to appear outside that ring. The Garden Ring is 16km in circumference according to Wikipedia. The next ring road after the Garden Ring is The Third Ring, and that one is 35km in length around or 10km in diameter which is very similar to the Paris Peripherique ring road. You can confirm this is Google Earth software (not Google Maps website).

Outside The Third Ring of Moscow it looks like most of the development consists of those big concrete apartment blocks. In fact, that seems to be the case for the huge area between The Third Ring and the outermost MKAD ring. A lot of the same huge area between The Third Ring and the MKAD is also developed around Paris but with much, much less of that space dedicated to big concrete apartment blocks. Instead it's a mix of single-family house neighborhoods (quartiers pavillonaires), small simple apartments, some nicer 6-8 story apartments like in Paris, all this mixed with the clusters of big concrete block apartments but those clusters only occupy a fraction of the total area, probably less than 1/4.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:16 AM   #47
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Amazingly beautiful!!!
The best city in the west world
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Old January 21st, 2010, 06:40 PM   #48
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32.
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33.
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34.
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35.
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The most beautiful grey city in the world.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 06:54 PM   #49
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27.
image hosted on flickr


28.
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29.
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30.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:00 PM   #50
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Agreed.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:15 PM   #51
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Yes, it is!
The most beautiful and the most charming.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 03:18 AM   #52
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Yes, it is!
The most beautiful and the most charming.
Beautiful? Yes. Charming? Not so sure about that. There are many more charming (usually much smaller) cities in Europe and perhaps elsewhere.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 09:43 PM   #53
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IMO barcelona isn't any less beautiful than Paris - plus its weather is so much better than Paris...
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 10:21 PM   #54
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IMO barcelona isn't any less beautiful than Paris - plus its weather is so much better than Paris...
Barcelona has extremes. It's central parts most visited by tourists which include the upscale parts of the Eixample as well as the Gothic Quarter is extremely beautiful (and much more impressive than most of Paris in my opinion). Then you have some very inspirational contemporary quarters that can rival Paris' contemporary neighborhoods. But all this is a small fraction of not just Greater Barcelona but Barcelona-proper as well. The rest is very mediocre and mediocre easily turns into ugly (either unkept old buildings or ugly 60s/70s architecture of which Paris is also guilty of but not quite the same way) when you make a turn on some street. Then you have too much clothes hanging in the irregular streets outside the Eixample (and sometimes in the outer parts of the Eixample too) and air-ventilating units on some windows. I like to say Barcelona has buildings that make you stop and turn your head and say "My God, that is just beautiful, how creative" but for every of those buildings there are 2 or 3 that makes you say the very opposite. The natural setting just makes people forget that because the weather is enough to bring a smile with every step you take not to mention you don't have Parisians to deal with.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:03 AM   #55
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not to mention you don't have Parisians to deal with.
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