This paper discusses the dialectical relationship of what I call an ethical aesthetics of the city, exemplified in the relationship of the Haussmannization techniques of architectural administration and spatial domination in their forms of the functionalist imperative of modern capitalist urban planning and spontaneous, improvisational-yet-collective, innovative modes of street life. I draw significantly on Walter Benjamin’s phenomenological ethics of urban aesthetics, comparing two developments in his reflections on the “everyday lived experience of the city,” specifically, lived experiences of city streets, namely, the work that he published in One-Way Street, and his unfinished work in The Arcades Project..[1]

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