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Paris Invisible City Latour

Paris Invisible City Latour

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Published by Julian Bleecker
Bruno Latour's essay "Paris Invisible City"
Bruno Latour's essay "Paris Invisible City"

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Julian Bleecker on Mar 14, 2013
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03/14/2013

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Swamped by the influx of cars, the Paris prefecture in charge of traffic finally
decided, during the Second World War’ to introduce traffic lights. Where to put
them? How to be sure they wouldn't compound the chaos rather than reducing it?
Such questions can be solved only by means of a mock-up, a diorama, a map, model

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or theory. The theory in this case, that countless decision-makers were to
contemplate, was in plaster of Paris! In the darkest hours of the Occupation an old
man with a beret lovingly adjusted the map so that the contours of the model would
correspond to those of Paris itself, outside, scale one. Later it was painted in vivid
colours to show the main traffic flows and plan the course of the rivers of cars that
the Liberation and post-WWII boom were to unleash in the old city centre.

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