Next time someone tells you that a light rail or streetcar or trolleybus would ruin the beautiful streetscape with their overhead wires, show them a picture of Vienna, where I am now.
I think it depends a bit on the variety of architecture on the street. In cities like Vienna and Paris most of the wired streets have pretty uniform building heights, and the wires can look like they’re part of the general grid.
Places with less uniformity in height or street width start looking messier with wires because your eye is drawn to the breaks in space. There were places in Italy with medieval towers spaced differently to the grid where I noticed the cables were like untidy spider webs.
Yes, my impression is that street-faces of typical Viennese buildings are visually interesting at the top and bottom — i.e. roof-lines and street entrances — but pretty monotonous on all the floors in between — So maybe the wires are OK because when we look in that direction we’re not trying to read any other complexity, such as varieties in buiding height or style from one building to the next. What do you think? (UPDATE: More pictures here.)