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Explain what is meant by the Haussmanisation of Paris. To what extent would you support or oppose this form of development? Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, to either support or oppose this, giving reasons for your view.

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Haussmanisation of Paris refers to the re-building of Paris by Baron Haussmann in the mid-eighteenth century. When Louis Napoleon III came to power, he appointed Haussmann as the chief architect of the new city. He laid out new streets, straight sidewalks, boulevards and open avenues, and planted full-grown trees. Haussmann’s architectural plans had positives as well as negatives. His name has become a representation of forcible reconstruction to enhance the beauty of a city and impose order. This is because his plans led to the displacement of 350,000 people from the centre of Paris. This included many poor people who were now rendered homeless.
Nevertheless, this “Haussmanisation of Paris” had its boons too. Public works employed nearly one in five working people. Haussmann’s work was criticised by the wealthy and poor alike during his time, but Paris became a symbol of civic pride for the French and it became the nucleus of many new architectural, social and intellectual developments that influenced other parts of the world in the twentieth century.

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