Tony Garnier Visionary Urban Designer

Architects are visionaries. Ever since Romulus slew his brother for the right to create the Eternal City, thinkers and design¬ers of urban life have not ceased to envision cities whose buildings, monuments, and thorough¬fares would not only serve (or control) city-dwellers, but also exalt the rulers and astonish travellers. But the multitudinous visions create a labyrinth of choices: to create flat cities? high cities? glass cities? green cities? Between utopias and dystopias, how can one determine which visions of life are best?

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France…Just the Facts Madame

Imagine 2,068,000 Parisians crammed into 105 km (not including 11 km of bones that lie under Paris in the catacombs) with 500,000 or so dogs (4760 dogs per km).  This means you have about a 1 in 4 chance that a Parisian you hear complaining about graffiti is a dog owner.  And this dog owner will be ignorant of the fact that although 4,000,000F go annually to cleaning up graffiti, 34,000,000F are spent cleaning up the canine land mines laid all over town.  20 metric tons of dog truffles daily.  Some of it is sucked up by those green vacuum cleaner-equipped motorcycles, some of it swept into gutters by the 12,000 branch brooms and 30,000 plastic branch brooms, and then washed out of sight, out of mind down many of Paris’ 18,000 sewer drains.  Instead, wouldn’t it be interesting to each day pick out 20 different dog owners and leave a metric ton on each of their doorsteps.  It would take 68 years to reward each dog owner- not a likely prospect.

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