Here’s central Paris:
Unfortunate ring road, but the actual city is a city. At the same scale, here’s central DC:
There’s this swathe of the city south of the Mall that’s been ruined by freeways, but thanks to the NIMBY activists of yore we, like Paris, have preserved the bulk of the city for use by people who live in the city.
Compare to Minneapolis:
Central Minneapolis is a nice place. But the main conceit of this layout seems to be that it’s a place people who live very far away from need to be able to get to. Meanwhile, the people who live in the residential neighborhoods just outside the very tight inner freeway ring seem to be regarded as inconveniences. The result is that the city perversely disincentivizes living in the downtown-proximate neighborhoods. The freeways make them less pleasant and less-connected to downtown, even while they reduce the cost in travel time to live further away.