Urban Policies and Access to Water in the City: The Water Revolution in Grenoble at the End of the 19th Century

By Estelle Baret-Bourgoin

In Grenoble, as in so many European and American cities, the end of the nineteenth century coincided with significant changes in the manner of dealing with water. Faced with the city dwellers' needs, municipal councilors undertook to equip and modernize the water supply. However unlike other cities which resorted to private companies, the capital of the Alps, the cradle of hydroelectric industries, preferred a municipal administration of water. In addition to the profits this gave the council, the new water supply of Rochefort eased water access to city dwellers. The dissatisfaction of some and their complaints about the price of water however bear witness to the spatial and social inequalities the expansion of the water supply created.

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