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Paris, Haussmann and property owners (1853 – 1860): researching temporally distant events

Paccoud, Antoine (2012) Paris, Haussmann and property owners (1853 – 1860): researching temporally distant events. In: Gassner, Gunter, Kaasa, Adam and Robinson, Katherine, (eds.) Distance and Cities: Where Do We Stand? Writing cities: working papers (2). Cities Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK, pp. 24-32.

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This paper presents empirical findings gleaned from a neglected set of archival material from the first years of Haussmann’s tenure as Prefect of the Seine (1853-1860). Four major strands of the literature on the transformation of Paris (biography, Durkheimian sociology, Marxism and planning history) are presented synthetically. An interpretation of the archival material is then presented: in the first years of his tenure, Haussmann was caught in an intense political confrontation with property owners because of his conception of what planning’s role and practice should be, and the way in which it should interact with private property and individual freedom. The last section discusses how these findings can complement the work of the other strands of investigation into the public works by offering a richer understanding of the evolution of Haussmann’s planning practice: from a coercive stance to property owners, Haussmann had to take a more conciliatory approach when the battle turned to the favour of property owners and his legal and political support eroded. What this paper highlights is the distance between the temporality of the everyday functioning of planning and the temporality of these intense sequences when planning itself is redefined.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Divisions: LSE Cities
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2013 16:43
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:32

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