Anne Hidalgo’s twenty-first-century mayoral plans for turning Paris into the “fifteen-minute city” remind us of the spatiotemporal effects that public transportation can have on our urban experience—and of the contingency of today’s vehicular forms, from bicycles and cars to buses and trains. We are well aware of the key date of 1900 for the development of the Paris métropolitain system and because the Métro continues to provide rapid transit, it tends to overshadow previous models for communal urban transportation in the public imaginary. It is tempting to take the teleological view of transportation as a progressive development from oxcarts and galleys to airplanes and supersonic jets. Within that history, the horse-drawn omnibus that ferried small groups of passengers across the streets of Paris from 1828 to 1913 would seem merely a transitional mode, a hiccup before the propulsive advent of engines. Indeed, if we look backward to the nineteenth century...
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December 1, 2022
Jean-Baptiste Amadieu Aurélia Cervoni Andrea Schellino
Book Review| December 01 2022
Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris
Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris.
Manchester University Press,
Romanic Review (2022) 113 (3): 515–517.
Andrea Goulet; Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris. Romanic Review 1 December 2022; 113 (3): 515–517. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00358118-10055181
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