Paris is a new city. In the 1850s the city's boss, Baron Georges Haussmann, tore down most of the medieval city and created the beloved system of boulevards that intersect as in a spider web.
Haussmann created a sort of form-based code that gave us most of what we appreciate in "Modern" Paris. (not the Tour Montparnasse. That is a piece of crap. And so is most of La Defense). Grand limestone ground floors, beautiful upper floors and small attic apartments.
Paris is so, so much more. The city is organized in a spiral array of wards, each unique.

"Arondissements" 1 through 7 have most of the attractions. Tour Eiffel, Louvre, Champs Elysees. Your typical Paris.
The Left Bank, where the Sorbonne is, kind of survived Haussmann. So did Le Marais. Very old streets have amazing little shops. Here are a few on the Left Bank.…
Modernity and the loss of scale are a problem that is not inherent to the Modernist planners and architects of the 20th century. It started almost 100 years earlier. Haussmann did not "destroy" Paris because his sense of aesthetics and decorum was very refined. But he could have.
There's a fine line between imposing a living, organic idea from the top down and imposing a fatally flawed one, also from the top down. Most cities that were "upgraded" in the 19th c. e.g. Buenos Aires, Paris got lucky.
Urban growth is bottom up. Otherwise it's a vanity project.

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More from @izurietavarea

20 Jul
I’ve always thought a bit radical that New Urbanism and Smart Growth be equated to “communism”.

I have come to fear communism not because of bike lanes but because of shortages, secret police, re-education camps and absolute lack of freedom.
The assumption that everything must be read in terms of asymmetrical relationships and assuming ill will, yet solved by the biggest asymmetrical relationship of them all, and by folks who magically surrender their ill will is naïve, to say the least.
Marxian analysis is deeply embedded in the culture. Especially in some areas, like architecture and planning. Using its words and imagery might prove useful to see the world, but there’s something that doesn’t add.
Read 8 tweets
16 Dec 20
Though not mentioned in the Gospel, Church Scholars agree there are seven deadly sins: gluttony sloth, lust, greed, envy, wrath and pride.

Which one is gonna kill your city?
🧵 Thread
Gluttony: too much parking, too many drive thrus, too many big box stores.
Sloth: choosing the simpleton way of financing every new project with taxes alone.
Read 8 tweets

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