It is said that "the head, the heart and the core of Paris” is that little island located in the center of the City of Light, in the middle of river Seine. It was originated by the year 250 BC, when a small Gallic tribe called parisii settled in the area that is now known as Île de la Cité, considered the old center and cradle of the city. The population gradually grew keeping up with the Middle Ages, and this little island became the site of one of the most emblematic buildings of the world, Notre Dame Cathedral (1345 AC).
Around two thousand years after its foundation, during the huge economic boom as the result of the industrial revolution, in 1852, emperor Napoleon III entrusted Baron Haussmann the difficult task of renovating Paris: to turn it from a medieval city into the most modern city in the world. The objective was simple, to reflect the economic, political and cultural power by portraying it as the world capital of politics. The project of Baron Haussmann, despite its spectacular development of imperial architecture, of magnificent balances, respecting heights and points of reference, caused many and very different reactions in its time, under the premise “to build you must destroy”. It is believed that the disappearance of medieval Paris originated the Parisian yearning which caused Impressionism, without imagining that these new works would portray Paris now as the world's most visited city.
The City of Paris is one of the few privileged cities that were thought, planned and rebuilt; the result is evident, it is no coincidence that it is the most visited city and, for many, the most lovely and romantic city in the world. -Who has not wished to enjoy a walk through the streets of this impressive city?-
Surely and despite living in one of them, you have never asked yourself: What is the definition of city? According to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language (RAE), city is 1.f. A group of buildings and streets, governed by a council, of which the dense and numerous population is commonly dedicated to non-agricultural activities. According to this definition, the city is just a property, pieces of steel, concrete and asphalt, which lack life and spirit.
Thanks to the World Urban Forum (WUF), for the first time, it was discussed the importance of cities in social development, playing a significant role, as the context that influences human behavior and progress, through the provision of a decent life. Consequently, the World Charter on the Right to the City is issued. Many people consider that this charter represents a new human right, the right of a human to a decent city that offers the necessary conditions for harmony and development.
According to the WUF's definition, cities are potential territories with great richness and economical, environmental, political and cultural diversity. It defines the mode of urban life as one influencing the mode in which we establish ties with our peers and with the territory. It is clear that for this organism, the city is an external factor that affects people's behavior.
At present, a new element arises around the cities, the world begins to enter into the concern of starting a new millennium, with half the world population living in cities and, according to forecasts, by the year 2050, 65% of the population will live in urban areas.
Humanity has built and urbanized cities meaninglessly throughout its history. Eventually and, in very rare circumstances, they have worried about portraying cities as an example of development and strength. However, it has never been considered to establish universal content principles so that “a group of buildings and streets” could deserve the title of City.
Today, cities should be considered as an extension of life itself, as a living being with spirit, that gives life and that forms one self with human species; that offers the conditions for development, seeking to ensure the scenarios that head towards the glory of human evolution.
Humanity should build a Universal Provision of City, forcing the councils to meet essential elements that provide quality of life: specifications of green areas, inclusion and respect of portions of water, declaration of spaces for leisure and where people come together, provisions of public transport, mandates for waste treatment, silences in living spaces, regulations for financial areas and development of companies, among others.
As in a city but on a smaller scale, a company should be thought, planned and built or rebuilt with detail; it should have its own life and spirit, a whole vision of what it wishes to achieve.
Make your company your own Paris, so that it is always a pleasure to visit and live in it. Make it one of the few privileged companies that were built and then rebuilt according to the plan, and not a mere coincidence that it becomes the most visited one in the world.
Foto: Wordpress 2007 / Paris Ratatouille