i’m not sure i have enough feelings about haussmannization
can someone who has actually been to paris tell me why it is bad so i can add dinosaurs
i mean he sort of helped stop epidemic disease that’s good right? even if it made paris less medieval? i don’t really understand i’m sorry
It’s actually mostly quite pretty, and I don’t think uglyfication is the main protest against Haussmann (that’s saved for later rebuilds in the 1950ies and thereabouts). I mean, there are a bunch of Napoleonic monuments in Paris that just cross every border of taste, but I don’t think Haussmann can be blamed for any of the most ostentatious ones.
But by tearing down the medieval city, he effectively drove a huge part of the population out of the city center. Early gentrification, and it was made with a fairly openly spoken goal — they weren’t gonna make a nice Paris for the people in the city, suffering from cholera and cramped conditions, they were gonna make a pretty city for the socially acceptable Parisians and throw out the rest. Also, making it easy to march troops up and down the streets and shoot anyone who tried to revolt.
Those long, pretty boulevards are also infested with a huge amount of cars these days, and while I don’t think it’s entirely fair to blame Haussmann for them, the distances and widths of streets do give Paris the feeling of a city build to be crossed on wheels, instead of by foot? He built a commuter city, and like basically all city planners, he spent more time and money on making the parts meant for the wealthy pretty, than making the outlying parts for the workers nice. This has then been repeated by the following generations of city planners, which I suspect is a part of what people have against Haussmann, that they feel he started a trend of wide-scale tearing down, building up whole blocks of similar houses, and shuffling away everyone who couldn’t afford the rents further and further out.
That said, goddamn did he make some pretty balconies
Yeah, there’s class issues - he basically destroyed old, poor, but established neighborhoods in order to make the city prettier for the new middle class. Also, he widened streets partly with an explicit goal of making barricades more difficult.
Honestly, I personally have mixed feelings about this kind of ‘urban renewal’ stuff in a general sense - it’s usually all kinds of injust and corrupt, I could rant about that at length, and any given project is going to have enough specific terrible things going on to make it easy to justifiably hate, but leaving obsolete infrustructure to fall apart and poor neighborhoods to stew in disease isn’t that much better.
This prompt was mostly inspired by me being entertained at 2 AM by Hugo’s hate of Haussmann, though. :P If you don’t write it I might end up just pastiching the sewer digression with extra dinosaurs.
(If you’ve read some of the Temeraire books, Napoleon’s changes to Paris to better accommodate dragons are an interesting alternative take to Hugo’s on the opening up of Medieval Paris….)