Effects of Haussmann’s Renovation of Paris

The city of Paris is currently the most visited city in the world, attracting people from all corners of the Earth to marvel in both the physical and intangible beauty of the City of Light. Paris’ current infamy as a romantic, idealized city is due mostly to the ambition of Georges-Eug;ne Haussmann, a French civic planner of the 1860’s who brought the vision of then emperor Louis-Napol;on Bonaparte to reality. Together, these two men underwent the massive renovation of the city of Paris to highlight the imperial extravagance of the physical city and to make necessary infrastructural changes to the urban space. Ultimately, Haussmann’s renovation of Paris highlighted monuments, changed and cleaned up the streets and revolutionized the dynamic of the city to increase the quality of life for Parisians for centuries to come.
While many of the changes made to Paris were Napol;on’s ideas, it was Georges- Eug;ne Haussmann who is responsible for actually making them happen. In Adolphe Yvon’s painting1 of Haussmann and Napol;on, the relationship between the two men is seen as equal. This is unusual for art of this time period, for the king or emperor of the time is most often glorified above others in the work of art. While Napol;on is certainly not represented poorly, the two men are still represented as equals, likely a more accurate representation of the roles they played opposite each other in the process of the city’s renovation. Haussmann’s enthusiasm for the undertaking is also represented in the painting. Haussmann is eagerly looking at the emperor as he leans in toward him confidently across the table. He seems very ready to do his bidding and focused on the massive project ahead of them.
Napoleon’s plans focused many changes around immortalizing the physical examples of the imperial nature of his city. Haussmann recognized the rise of automobiles and increasing traffic levels when design…