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Anatomy of 19th Century Mega- Projects Paris Model

Vienna Model

Political Economy

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte first as president and later as emperor. Economic crisis of Constitutional Emperor Franz Joseph I under a fragile over accumulation with redundant capital and labour due to over-production. Liberal Bourgeoisie.


Fear of revolution. Decay. Creation of a credit system. Creation of a real estate Fortifications hinder growth of city. Representations of a market. Creation of a retail market. Physical capital mismatch with economic capital. liberal ideology. Creation of a real estate market. Absorption of surplus labour into building programme.


Baron Hausmann as prefect of the Seine. The Pereire and Rothschild families at the centre of the massive credit finance mechanisms. Individual Investors.

Liberal Bourgeoisie and private investors.


Kickstarted by state finances, sale of assets and budget surpluses. Second phase was repayments through the credit mobilier. Final phase was upfront costs paid by a builder who was then repaid by the state in installments.

Building boom from 1861-1865 but halts due to: Military defeat by Prussia (1866) – Dual Monarchy with Hungary (1867) – Stock Exchange Collapse (1873)


Creation of a Credit Mobilier that owned several French companies and linked them to the savings of the masses. Savings were nationally aligned to infrastructure investments. Parisian versions of this system would invest capital in the built form and receive rents from the newly created buildings. Returns from rents would vary from 5%-7% compared to bonds at 3%.

Creation of a City Extension Fund to fund demolitions and erection of public buildings. Private lots were sold to invidual buyers who were given 30 year tax indemnities.

Spatial Characteristics

Major infrastructure works determining spatial fabric. Single perspective of the avenues.

Open spaces around monumental structures. Lack of enclosure.


1840's: property owned by shopkeepers and artisans (50%) & liberal professions Individual blocks were initially owned by Building Societies (30%). 1880's: shopkeepers and artisans (13%) & liberal professions (13%) but great (short term speculators) banks, industrialists and commercial increase in speculative landowners (54%). institutions. Later, with the withdrawal of building socieites there was a significant rise in private owners.

Social Relations

Working class housing displaced to northern and eastern peripheries. Division of propertied interests in the right bank and in the central districts. Left bank was characterised by large scale aristocratic owners intermingled with artisans and shopkeepers).

Ringstrasse Zone was a liberal project that excluded the working classes (except during its construction phase) The rentiers were predomiantly private (27%) - merchants (20%) - liberal professions (11%) - higher ranking officials (10%)


Rental Housing. Department Stores. Retail.

State buildings. Museums. Opera House.

Economic characteristics

Rationalisation of real estate values.

Rationalisation of real estate values with high value residential blocks within the Ringstrasse

Transport Characteristics


Radial. Running around the city

Housing Characteristics

The Rental Block or interest bearing architecture. High value speculative The Rental Block or interest bearing architecture. construction in the centre for the bourgeoisie and low value construction for workers' Specifically: In the Ringstrasse Zone: Aristocratic dwellings housing in the periphery. (Adelspalais); Luxury dwelling blocks (Nobelmiethaus); Rental block (Miethaus). Within the Ringstrasse Zone: Dwelling & Commercial Block. Outside the Ringstrasse Zone:Poorer suburbs