Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildings, tools, automobiles, machines and weapons. Iron is the base metal of steel. Iron is able to take on two crystalline forms, body centered cubic and face centered cubic, depending on its temperature. In the body-centered cubic arrangement, there is an iron atom in the center and eight atoms at the vertices of each cubic unit cell, it is the interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements carbon, that gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties. In pure iron, the crystal structure has little resistance to the iron atoms slipping past one another, so pure iron is quite ductile, or soft and formed. In steel, small amounts of carbon, other elements, inclusions within the iron act as hardening agents that prevent the movement of dislocations that are common in the crystal lattices of iron atoms; the carbon in typical steel alloys may contribute up to 2.14% of its weight.
Varying the amount of carbon and many other alloying elements, as well as controlling their chemical and physical makeup in the final steel, slows the movement of those dislocations that make pure iron ductile, thus controls and enhances its qualities. These qualities include such things as the hardness, quenching behavior, need for annealing, tempering behavior, yield strength, tensile strength of the resulting steel; the increase in steel's strength compared to pure iron is possible only by reducing iron's ductility. Steel was produced in bloomery furnaces for thousands of years, but its large-scale, industrial use began only after more efficient production methods were devised in the 17th century, with the production of blister steel and crucible steel. With the invention of the Bessemer process in the mid-19th century, a new era of mass-produced steel began; this was followed by the Siemens–Martin process and the Gilchrist–Thomas process that refined the quality of steel. With their introductions, mild steel replaced wrought iron.
Further refinements in the process, such as basic oxygen steelmaking replaced earlier methods by further lowering the cost of production and increasing the quality of the final product. Today, steel is one of the most common manmade materials in the world, with more than 1.6 billion tons produced annually. Modern steel is identified by various grades defined by assorted standards organizations; the noun steel originates from the Proto-Germanic adjective stahliją or stakhlijan, related to stahlaz or stahliją. The carbon content of steel is between 0.002% and 2.14% by weight for plain iron–carbon alloys. These values vary depending on alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, so on. Steel is an iron-carbon alloy that does not undergo eutectic reaction. In contrast, cast iron does undergo eutectic reaction. Too little carbon content leaves iron quite soft and weak. Carbon contents higher than those of steel make a brittle alloy called pig iron. While iron alloyed with carbon is called carbon steel, alloy steel is steel to which other alloying elements have been intentionally added to modify the characteristics of steel.
Common alloying elements include: manganese, chromium, boron, vanadium, tungsten and niobium. Additional elements, most considered undesirable, are important in steel: phosphorus, sulfur and traces of oxygen and copper. Plain carbon-iron alloys with a higher than 2.1% carbon content are known as cast iron. With modern steelmaking techniques such as powder metal forming, it is possible to make high-carbon steels, but such are not common. Cast iron is not malleable when hot, but it can be formed by casting as it has a lower melting point than steel and good castability properties. Certain compositions of cast iron, while retaining the economies of melting and casting, can be heat treated after casting to make malleable iron or ductile iron objects. Steel is distinguishable from wrought iron, which may contain a small amount of carbon but large amounts of slag. Iron is found in the Earth's crust in the form of an ore an iron oxide, such as magnetite or hematite. Iron is extracted from iron ore by removing the oxygen through its combination with a preferred chemical partner such as carbon, lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
This process, known as smelting, was first applied to metals with lower melting points, such as tin, which melts at about 250 °C, copper, which melts at about 1,100 °C, the combination, which has a melting point lower than 1,083 °C. In comparison, cast iron melts at about 1,375 °C. Small quantities of iron were smelted in ancient times, in the solid state, by heating the ore in a charcoal fire and welding the clumps together with a hammer and in the process squeezing out the impurities. With care, the carbon content could be controlled by moving it around in the fire. Unlike copper and tin, liquid or solid iron dissolves carbon quite readily. All of these temperatures could be reached with ancient methods used since the Bronze Age. Since the oxidation rate of iron increases beyond 800 °C, it is important that smelting take place in a low-oxygen environment. Smelting, using carbon to reduce iro
Andrézieux-Bouthéon is a commune of the Loire department in central France. Le Château Bouthéon Andrézieux is twinned with: Neu-Isenburg, Germany Maia, Portugal Soham, England Chiusi, Italia Saint-Étienne - Bouthéon Airport Furan River ASF Andrézieux Communes of the Loire department INSEE statistics
Balbigny is a commune in the Loire department in central France. Balbigny owes its name to a Roman general named Balbinius who based himself here in order to conduct a war. Nothing survives from this period; the earliest identified traces of Balbigny date from 1090. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before the Loire was channelled, Balbigny was a village of boatmen, known for flat bottomed boats known as Rambertes which were used to transport the coal mined at Saint-Étienne; the loaded Rambertes arrived from Saint-Rambert and stopped off at Balbigny where the boat crews were changed, taking the boats to the next change-over point at Roanne. All this changed in August 1832 with the arrival of the third oldest railway line in France which connected Andrézieux-Bouthéon with Roanne, passing Balbigny en route. An extension of the rail network in 1913 saw Balbigny connected with Régny; the coal was therefore transported by rail, but the railway gave farmers in the district access to a wider range of markets for their produce.
The road bridge crossing the Loire was destroyed in 1940 in order to hold back advancing German troops, a ferry service was introduced to permit the river to be crossed. The bridge was rebuilt in 1950. Balbigny is twinned with: Chaumont, Haute-Marne, France Communes of the Loire department INSEE statistics
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
The Unité d'habitation is a modernist residential housing design principle developed by Le Corbusier, with the collaboration of painter-architect Nadir Afonso. The concept formed the basis of several housing developments designed by him throughout Europe with this name; the most famous of these developments is located in south Marseille. Unité d'habitation buildings were designed by French architect Le Corbusier. In 1920, Corbusier started to develop the type apartment which became influential in 20th century modernism and contemporary residential design in Europe; the first full-scale models were built in Paris and Marseille during the planning of the first high rise concrete structure in the 1940s. During completion of the Marseille building a few model apartments were completed and furnished for visitors as an exhibition. In the 1980s a team form ETH Zurich surveyed several apartments in Marseille and a several full-scale models were constructed for exhibitions in Paris, Karlsuhe and New York.
In 1986 a full-scale model was constructed at the Badischer Kunstverein by Gernot Bayne based on the survey of Ruggero Tropeano. The same model was on display at Centre Pompidou. A full scale original Kitchen and other parts of the apartments are stored and displayed several museum collections around the world; the Cuisine Atelier Le Corbusier, type 1, designed by Charlotte Perriand in cooperation with the Atelier Le Corbusier. A total of 321 apartments of the Unité were furnished with this kitchen; the Museum of Modern Art acquired a complete kitchen in 2013. In 2007 students built a structurally correct full-scale model inside the Museum Cité in Paris. Unité d'habitation model apartments have been rebuilt in exhibitions or renovated in their historic style; the first and most famous of these buildings known as Cité radieuse and, informally, as La Maison du Fada, is located in Marseille and was built between 1947 and 1952. One of Le Corbusier's most famous works, it proved enormously influential and is cited as the initial inspiration of the Brutalist architectural style and philosophy.
The building is constructed in béton brut, as the hoped-for steel frame proved too expensive in light of post-War shortages. In July 2016, the Unité in Marseille and several other works by Le Corbusier were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is designated a historic monument by the French Ministry of Culture. It was damaged by fire on February 9, 2012; the Marseille building, developed with Corbusier's designers Shadrach Woods and George Candilis, comprises 337 apartments arranged over twelve stories, all suspended on large piloti. The building incorporates shops with an architectural bookshop, a rooftop gallery, educational facilities, a hotel, open to the public, a gastronomic restaurant, Le Ventre de l'architecte. Inside, corridors run through the centre of the long axis of every third floor of the building, with each apartment lying on two levels, stretching from one side of the building to the other, with a balcony. Corbusier's design was criticised by US architect Peter Blake for having small children's rooms and some of those rooms lacked windows.
Unlike many of the inferior system-built blocks it inspired, which lack the original's generous proportions, communal facilities and parkland setting, the Unité is popular with its residents and is now occupied by upper middle-class professionals. The flat roof is designed as a communal terrace with sculptural ventilation stacks, a running track, a shallow paddling pool for children. There is a children's art school in the atelier; the roof, where a number of theatrical performances have taken place, underwent renovation in 2010 and since 2013 it hosts an exhibition center called the MaMo. The roof has unobstructed views of the Marseille. According to Peter Blake, members of CIAM held a "great celebration" for the building's opening on the roof on a summer evening in 1953. "Architects from every part of the world attended", including Walter Gropius, who said at the event: "Any architect who does not find this building beautiful, had better lay down his pencil." In the block's planning, the architect drew on his study of the Soviet communal housing project, the Narkomfin Building in Moscow, designed by the architect Moisei Ginzburg and completed in 1932.
Le Corbusier's utopian city living design was repeated in four more buildings with this name and a similar design: Unité d'Habitation of Nantes-Rezé in 1955, Unité d'Habitation of Berlin Westend in 1957, Unité d'Habitation of Briey in 1963, Unité d'Habitation of Firminy-Vert in 1965. All of them were oriented with the building's long axis running north–south, so the units face east-and-west; the replacement material influenced the Brutalist movement, the building inspired several housing complexes including the Alton West estate in Roehampton and Park Hill in Sheffield. These buildings have attracted a great deal of criticism. Other, more successful, manifestations of the Unité include Chamberlin and Bon's Barbican Estate, Gordon Tait's Samuda Estate, Isle of Dogs, Ernő Goldfinger's Balfron Tower, Trellick Tower, all in London. Another valuable complex inspired with the idea was Za Żelazną Bramą Housing Estate in Warsaw, Poland; the Reserve Square Complex in Cleveland, Ohio, built 1969–1973 was influenced by Le Corbusier's project.
The Riverside Plaza in Minneapolis, which opened in 1973 used multi-colored panels and brutalist design, as influenced by the project. A building in Vukovarska street in Z
Arcinges is a commune in the Loire department in central France. Communes of the Loire department INSEE statistics