Whereas, during the first half of the twentieth century, the Haussmann cycle continued in the form of what is known as post-Haussmannism, Paris from the 1890s began to consider other mutations. The unhealthy conditions of housing, the growth of the city outside the military enclosure of Thiers, new theories of urban planning from Germany, Great Britain and the United States call for the deepening of Parisian transformations.

The creation of cheap housing (habitations à bon marché - HBM), the delimitation of the unhealthy areas on which the city would be rebuilt according to hygienist modalities, the great radical visions of Le Corbusier and the major urban projects of the years 1950-1960 inspired both by the Athens Charter, of the American ideal, is gradually giving rise to radically modernizing aims that are destroying Haussmannism and even the form of the historic city. The replacement of the corridor-street and block urbanism with an “urbanisme de dalle” and a stratification of traffic flows, as in Defense, results in very large-scale operations that are increasingly criticized. The 1970s marked a shift towards a more rational city design in its scales, more sensitive to history and built heritage. The 1980s and 1990s are marked by the monumental inspiration of the great works of François Mitterand (Louvre pyramid, Opéra Bastille, Ministry of Finance, Arab Word Institute, Grande Arche de la Défense), and especially by an increase in the quality of current architecture and public spaces (Parc de la Villette, Parc de Bercy). The second half of the twentieth century is marked, finally, by the urbanization of a suburb which until then grew practically without plan. The Paris of the second twentieth century is manufactured outside its administrative boundaries: the five new cities of Ile-de-France from 1965 and, today, major equipment and urban development, related to the Metropolis of Grand Paris.


  • Jacques Lucan (dir.), Eau et gaz à tous les étages. Paris, 100 ans de logement, catalogue d’exposition, Paris, Éditions du Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Picard, 1992.
  • Simon Texier, Paris contemporain. De Haussmann à nos jours. Une capitale à l’ère des métropoles, Paris, Parigramme, 2005.

Jean-Baptiste MINNAERT

Born in 1964, Jean-Baptiste Minnaert is professor of history of contemporary art at Paris-Sorbonne University. He is the chairman of the Association of History of Architecture (AHA). Specialized in the history of architecture and urbanism of the twentieth century, Jean-Baptiste Minnaert has published in 1991 a book about the architect Pierre Barbe (1900-2004), then his doctoral thesis about Henri Sauvage (1873-1932) ) and three books about the Parisian architect (The Architectural Drawings of Henri Sauvage, 1994 ; Henri Sauvage, l’exercice du renouvellement, 2002 ; Henri Sauvage le rationaliste, 2011). He also worked on the architecture of the suburbs of Paris Paris (Le faubourg Saint-Antoine, architecture et métiers d’art, 1998), on the satellite city of Heliopolis in Cairo, on the historiography of architecture and contemporary heritage (Histoires d’architectures en Méditerranée, XIXe-XXe siècles, 2005). He is currently working on peri-urbanization to which he devoted a colloquium and published acts (Périurbains, territoires, réseaux et temporalités, 2013) and at the same time worked on architecture in Tours in the nineteenth and twenty-first century, to which he devotes a book (Tours. Métamorphoses d’une ville, 2016).