The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City, Part 2


Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was of course disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers - and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.

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