Cities, Railways, Modernities: London, Paris and the Nineteenth Century

Monday 11 November 2019, 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Venue

FYL - Fylde D33 - View Map

Open to

Alumni, Applicants, External Organisations, Postgraduates, Prospective Students, Public, Staff, Undergraduates

Registration

Registration not required - just turn up

Event Details

By introducing the notion of ‘past futures’, I will characterise the relationship that developed between railways, the transport and mobility infrastructure of the future during the nineteenth century.

Severe street congestion, overcrowding, sanitation calling for the opening of new and broader channels for the circulation of air, sun,water, waste, information (think of the telegraph), goods, people and even time pulses (‘pumped’ through pneumatic tubes), are all themes well known to and studied in great detail by historians of the nineteenth-century city. In this talk, I wish to challenge and refine two of the dominant narratives implicit in the historiography of London and Paris, particularly that concerning the nineteenth century. The first concerns a planned Paris; the second, an un-planned London. By focusing on three moments and discussing the debates,plans and decisions made in the interest of using railways as a means often visioning the future of the two cities, I will show London’s inroads towards coordination and a view of the whole which are comparable with how change was effected in Paris during the second half of the nineteenth century. Conversely,the talk will contrast the reality of modern Paris with visions that were far more ambitious and far more comprehensive than the legacy of wide boulevards and monumental vistas, as conceived by Napoléon III and his Prefect,Georges-Eugène Haussmann.

By introducing the notion of ‘past futures’, I will characterise the relationship that developed between railways, the transport and mobility infrastructure of the future during the nineteenth century, and London and Paris, two capitals with a long history of dealing with change prompted by new transport and other technologies.

Contact Details

Name Amy Harding
Email

a.e.harding@lancaster.ac.uk

Telephone number

+44 1524 592701