Architecture and Urban Planning

Perhaps the Parisian architectural heritage has only comparison with that of Rome, contributing to that since 1991 the banks of the Seine in Paris are considered by UNESCO as World Heritage. The Paris ‘Modern’ is the result of a vast urban renewal plan emerged in the mid-nineteenth century. For centuries it had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and wooden houses of middle class, but from 1852, Baron Haussmann did a great urban plan largely demolished to form broad avenues lined with neoclassical buildings of stone for the new bourgeoisie, most of this ‘new’ Paris is the one we see today. The plans of the Second Empire, in many cases are still in force, as the city of Paris imposed since the so-called “alignement” (law that defines the position of the building leaving a given street width) on many of the new construction.The height of a building also determined by the width of the street, and the Paris building code has seen few changes since the mid-nineteenth century to allow higher buildings. The effort to preserve Paris’s historical past and current laws make it difficult to create within city limits large public buildings and facilities necessary for a growing population. Many institutions and economic infrastructure are already in the periphery or in the process of doing so. Financial firms (La D fense) business district, the main food wholesale market (Rungis), major renowned schools ( cole Polytechnique, ENSAM, HEC, ESSEC, INSEAD, etc..) Laboratories world-renowned research (in Saclay or Avenue), the largest sports stadium (Stade de France), and even some ministries (such as transportation) are outside the city of Paris.The National Archives of France are being moved to the northern suburbs, a process to be completed by the end of 2010. However, severe limits unchanged, strict building codes and lack of developable land in Paris have not created the phenomenon called “museificaci n” who know other European cities. Three of the most popular and oldest parks in Paris are : the Tuileries Garden, created in the sixteenth century to the palace of the same name (now defunct), located on the right bank, near the Louvre, the Luxembourg Garden and Jardin des Plantes was created by Guy de la Brosse, physician to Louis XIII. Most other parks in Paris are creations of the Second Empire: The parks of Montsouris, Buttes-Chaumont and Parc Monceau is the work of Jean-Charles Alphand, an engineer with Napoleon III. Another project in this period was the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris.The Bois de Vincennes, to its east side, received similar treatment during the following years. These forests provide to the city 2,000 hectares of nature, in addition to other newly created spaces like the Parc de la Villette, Parc de Bercy, theme parks and attractions such as Disneyland Resort Paris and Parc Asterix.