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Georges Eugène Haussmann

French baron, civil servant and city planner. Born 1809, died 1891.

As the administrative head of the département around Paris from 1853 to 1869, Haussmann carried out a massive restructuring of the city, influenced by a draft plan dictated by Napoleon III. A comprehensive system of new boulevards, squares, public parks, water supply and sewage system was established in a remarkably short time.

The modernisation of Paris differed from other, contemporary projects (e.g., the defortification of Copenhagen and Vienna), in that it presupposed numerous expropriations. The funds to carry out the financial aspects of the project were raised chiefly by public loans, as part of the expansive financial policies of the government. This led to sharp criticism of Haussmann by the opposition, and ultimately induced him to step down.

Haussmann published his memoirs, 1890-1893.

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