Photo Du Jour

Twin City – Part II

Back to Saint-Etienne today, for a final look around. This is a post that is probably more suited for Scaledown.ca, but I’m going to post it anyway. 🙂

Europe is a much different place than North America, and an emphasis is placed on urban environments., and being kind to the past. They have a much less disposible attitude over there, and a high emphasis is placed on dense urban walkable areas.

When I took this shot above, I caught flack from my relatives, who claimed I was taking only photos of “the worst parts of Saint-Etienne”. Since this photo was taken in 2006, the building has been fully restored. (photo taken by St. Etienne resident Sandy who posted a comment yesterday)

This is the oldest building in town.

Oooh look! A major retailer on a street downtown! Having real viable retail options goes a long way. There are many other major retailers in stand alone stores all over downtown, Benneton, etc..

Before anyone chimes in with excuses, they have a very large mall in Saint Etienne too, and a big box Ikea just outside the city too… So there are options that don’t include supporting street level retail, yet it thrives?

You’ll note the fencing all over in these photos, that is from major street work, as they were installing new streetcar rails and lines, expaning the transit network.

This is a view down the main street. Despite all the construction, there were barely any vacant storefronts.

The St. Etienne version of their Cenotaph. Just as most towns in Ontario have a Cenotaph, most French towns have a WWI Memorial.

A Twin in name, but sadly not in much else. Maybe Windsor should send the mayor and council over to see how a vibrant city does it, and how a city reinvents itself after losing its main source of employment.

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