Forum, Futuribles Journal n° 357

Territoires, réseaux

Greater Paris and the Shadow of Haussmann. On Jean-Paul Lacaze’s Article


Jean Haëntjens, who co-ordinated the Futuribles special issue “European Cities, Cities of the Future?” (no. 354, July-August 2009), responds, as part of this “forum”, to Jean-Paul Lacaze’s article on Greater Paris in this November issue. He is distinctly less critical than Jean-Paul Lacaze of the Greater Paris project and the consultation process around it, and he stresses the extent to which the shadow of Baron Haussmann continues to hover over current debates. In Jean Haëntjens’ view, it is essential that French cities, beginning with the capital, draw a line under the state urbanism embodied in the Napoleon III-Haussmann and De Gaulle-Delouvrier pairings, if they want to come into the 21st century. This represents an enormous undertaking and it is difficult to judge how long it will take or what the chances of success will be in what is still, to say the least, a centralized country…

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