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The compactness of Paris

This is a great diagram from Smart Density comparing the urban and regional rail networks of Toronto, London, and Paris. All are at the same scale.

What immediately stands out to me — besides Toronto’s relatively miniscule network — is Paris’ compactness. I have said this before on the blog (here, here, and here), but I will say it again: There seems to be a tendency to fetishize the scale and height of Paris.

But building height is only one component of its ubiquitous built form. Unlike Toronto, we’re not talking about midrises built up against single-family homes. Paris is far more dense and its buildings are far closer together (usually with interior courtyards)

Are we also okay with these attributes?

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