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La Rochelle, France

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LA ROCHELLE is the most attractive and unspoilt seaside town in France. Thanks to the foresight of 1970s mayor Michel Crépeau, its historic seventeenth- to eighteenth-century centre and waterfront were plucked from the clutches of the developers and its streets freed of traffic for the delectation of pedestrians. A real shock-horror outrage at the time, the policy has become standard practice for preserving old town centres across the country – even more successful than Crépeau's picturesque yellow bicycle plan, since imitated in Paris and elsewhere.
Information by Rough Guides

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