Two divergent responses to Haussmann’s remaking of nineteenth-century Paris—a desire to open up cities even further, and a movement to protect older urban contexts—have usually been studied as distinct traditions: one as the emergence of the modernist city, the other as the birth of urban preservation. Their products, the spacious modern city and the restored old town, have typically also been treated separately, with preservation as a niche product and modernism as the driving force of urban development. Central European examples, however, beginning with the influence of Camillo Sitte on urban planning, reveal that older, enclosed urban forms have offered a persistent alternative to the open, modernist city. The continuing appeal of enclosed, pedestrian spaces and of traditional architectural forms has influenced not just preservation but also new construction and planning.
The full article is available at Project Muse.
Image: Cologne, Ring, following Josef Stübben’s 1880 plan. (Rheinisches Bildarchiv)