Size: 17.25 x 29.25 inches
Artist: René Bellu
Up until the second half of the 1850s, Paris was a Medieval city whose overcrowded neighborhoods and dark and dangerous alleyways became cesspools of disease, crime, and misery. The widest streets were 5 meters across, but many were 2 meters wide and difficult to access by carts or carriages. Despite causing traffic and enabling epidemics to quickly spread throughout the city, civilians would use the thin, labyrinthine streets to their advantage during riots and revolutions. Between 1830 and 1848, seven armed uprisings and revolts had broken out in the centre of Paris, and the residents of these neighborhoods created barricades using all kinds of materials (including paving stones and omnibuses!) that the army had great difficulty in dislodging.
In the 1850s, Emperor Napoleon III called upon Baron Haussmann to "renovate Paris." Medieval neighborhoods were demolished; parks, squares, and wide avenues were built so that civilians would no longer be able to barricade the streets or prevent the army (especially a military tank) from ploughing through the streets. Today, Paris welcomes renovations which prioritize public transportation systems, including 'purpose' lanes dedicated to buses, taxis, and, more recently, cyclists. While modern vehicles are sleek and efficient, this poster celebrates the Parisian buses from 1906-1976 and the "70 years of progress." Makes you wonder... how outdated will our trains and buses seem in 70 years? A double-sided ad with signs of wear, conceptualized and realized by René Bellu!