When not directly shaping the fabric of Paris themselves, its rulers have always kept tight control over the activities of others, with the result that Paris has developed under some of the strictest building regulations of any major city. Despite Paris's much vaunted reputation as the cultural salon of Europe, a certain suspicion towards foreign architectural imports has characterised its development, and outside influences have always been adapted to local needs and indigenous modes of expression, a tradition which carried on until the post-war era and arguably continues today. The last decades of the 20th century have witnessed a rush to modernise and adapt a crumbling fabric to the exigencies of the electronic age.
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Andrew Ayers studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London, and now lives in Paris.