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By Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost (auth.)

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Extra resources for Language and the City

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Also on the matter of connection and disconnection, both Pile (1999b: 30–4) and Chambers (1999) note how women, in response to their isolation in 20th-century suburbia, created their own networks of connection that transcended the physical and social confines of the suburb. The City 29 The desires for specifically designed urban spaces so as to create particular social environments that are manifest in planned processes of suburbanisation are based upon an assumption that overstates the distinction between order and disorder.

Specific cases include, by way of example, the Victorian period, in which such parties comprised various philanthropists and social reformers of the upper middle class and the aristocracy; urban planners and civil servants fulfilled a similar role post-1945. Those people most directly affected by ‘the problem’ as such were not a part of the process by which it was to be addressed – they were marginal to the identification of the issue, its management and its resolution. It could be argued that the cases above are simply benign, patrician and technocratic but it is the case that the ability to define a problem and to intervene in it is limited to those in authority, those with expertise and those with capital.

Haussmann’s work can therefore be read as an attempt to resolve the ‘incessant clash of alternative conceptions of social order’ (McLaughlin & Muncie, 1999: 113). The result of his work was the reordering of Paris through the wholesale construction of a modern physical infrastructure, comprising wide boulevards, public parks, railway stations, zones specific to particular economic activities, semi-enclosed shopping streets, a sewerage system, public lighting, water supply and class-specific residential zones.

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