- Published on Tuesday, 08 March 2011 03:29
- Written by Super User
THE MAKING OF MOVEMENT: WHAT IS IT THAT DRIVES PUBLIC ACTION ON URBAN MOBILITY?
- A structured international research programme across some 10 countries
- A survey of the world’s students on their dreams for the city of tomorrow
- Specific analyses on controversies and projects by young researchers
- Personal views from politicians and experts
- A collaborative online platform: www.movemaking.com
The international research programme and conference are headed by the City on the Move Institute/PSA Peugeot Citroën (IVM) with its China and Latin America chairs, and by Fabrique de la Cité, in partnership with Paris-East University and with the support of the Île-de- France Institute of Urban Planning and the Caisse des dépôts et Consignations Research Institute, with the participation of FNAU (National Federation of Planning Agencies). Initiative funded by the Ile-de-France Region (0810 18 18 18 ).
As cities grow ever larger and their operations ever more complex, urban mobilities have become a source of major problems. The policies and plans designed to tackle these problems arise out of interactions between parties in different arenas, characterised by different values, interests and institutional dynamics: national and municipal authorities, citizens, lobbyists, experts, the media…
So what is it that drives public action on urban mobility issues? The tyranny of crisis? The need to avoid catastrophe? Environmental concerns and the resistance to global warming? The competition between cities in a global world? The quality of life of citydwellers? The utopia of a dream city? The unending need for modernisation? The entrenched power of the protagonists? Each city’s particular atmosphere, its relation to the future, to progress? The knowledge of experts? ...
But also, what is it that impedes public action? Why is it that some problems, albeit serious problems, never reach the top of the agenda? Why do innovations continue to be neglected? Why do certain categories of the population never get their voices heard?
Decoding the complexities of mobility policies
The aim of this international research effort is to improve our understanding of how, on the ground, mobility policies or projects actually evolve, change, are transformed or (re)produced. For this purpose, the history and conditions of decision making on a mobility solution were observed in different cities. What are the dynamics involved in bringing a problem onto the political agenda and resolving it? In an uncertain and fragmented world, the processes that mould mobility policies and projects are neither logical, linear or rational, nor the outcome of an individual political decision. They are complex, contradictory and multifaceted, specific to a particular context, fashioned by controversies, habits, people, problems and solutions.
A shared issue for more than twenty cities
For more than a year, this joint question has brought together interdisciplinary teams based in cities on several continents: in Beijing, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Lima, Mexico, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paris-Île-de-France. In Barcelona, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Manchester, Cali, Jakarta, Ahmedabad, Lyon, Cape Town, Brussels, Athens, Dakar, Guangzhou, Daegu, students described their dreams for the future, young researchers analysed specific projects and the controversies they aroused.
An entirely new, international and collaborative working process
The research teams conducted case analyses of mobility policies and transport projects characteristic of specific cities, which reflect the gaps between the political aims of a project (or a policy) and the social needs and actual outcomes. These disparities give rise to crises, controversies, failures or successes emerging from failure. This original method of working is based on an approach specific to the social sciences – terrain analysis –and on interdisciplinary approaches (urbanism, architecture, sociology, political science), in counterpoint to a standard transportation analysis.
Some seven hundred students from all over the world also contributed to the project: through writings, photos, images, videos, they expressed their hopes for the future city in which they would like to live. Ten doctoral and postdoctoral students from all around the world retraced the history of controversies surrounding mobility projects. Decision-makers were invited to recount their experience of a particularly contested decision making process, and experts were asked to express a strongly held opinion.
In the course of the project, all the participants exchanged ideas and views through an open collaborative platform – www.movemaking.com – in order to promote a crosscutting dialogue on projects and processes between researchers from different countries and between researchers and students/citizens/guests.
Thirty cases – ten cities – three continents
This multifaceted, international approach helps us to understand, for example, why the launch of the BRT (bus rapid transit) has been highly successful in Bogotá, where plans for a subway system have so far been ruled out, but has been problematic in Santiago, where urban expressways are successful. It helps us to understand the values and arguments underpinning the successful spread of the self-service bicycle network in Shanghai and Buenos Aires, cities with very different conditions from Paris, where the Vélib’ bicycle network began; or why, in the midst of an economic boom, the people of Beijing accept the principle of a lottery as a draconian means of controlling private car use.
It also helps to identify blindspots, issues that fail to emerge onto the political or media agenda. Why does the appalling rate of pedestrian fatalities in Lima remain a marginal issue? Why are the day-to-day quality of service problems experienced by commuters in Île-de-France scarcely recognised, whereas grandiose projects are implemented rapidly? Why does the eruption of two wheeled vehicles onto the streets of virtually all the world’s big cities seem to have gone virtually unnoticed in terms of explicit policy initiatives? Why do the poorest sections of the population have so much difficulty in making their voices heard?
Utopian visions of the city’s future decision-makers – 700 students – 14 cities
Students of architecture, urbanism and transport engineering – future technicians and decision-makers – described their utopian visions, dreams and nightmares about the city of the future through images, videos and in written form: dreams of a networked city of greenery, of travel as a pleasure, of a village city in the megacity, of new forms of citizenship, of community, of new practices and multiple modes of transport…
Young Researchers Prize – 15 selected contributions on controversial urban issues
Following a call for contributions from young researchers (doctoral and postdoctoral students) in Europe, Latin America and China, fifteen of the thirty or so submissions received were shortlisted. They retrace the history of a controversy that has aroused conflict over a project.
How did the problem emerge into the public arena? Who are the social protagonists? How did it emerge onto the media and/or political agenda? What group interests, what representations of the city, of sustainable development, of public action, what values, become the focus of conflict? With Jakarta, the economic and political capital of Indonesia, approaching traffic gridlock, the President has proposed three hotly debated solutions, including the drastic proposal of moving the government and the capital to another city. In the Netherlands, the government’s decision to build a new road network to combat congestion has generated polemics between a disparate range of opponents with a variety of motives: environmentalism, geographical loyalty, political partisanship… In Ahmedabad in India, a latent disagreement about a riverbank refurbishment project has brought the government and the municipality into conflict with activists and architects-planners: will the environmental and social costs provide a counterweight to an urban expressway project?
The prize for the best contribution is supported by the Île-de-France Region. It will be awarded at the international conference on March 26-27 in Paris.
The international conference: March 26-27, 2012, Paris
This two-day conference will bring together all the teams from around the world who contributed to the research and interchanges. Academics, experts, public figures, decision-makers, will discuss the crosscutting themes that emerged from the different case studies. The discussions will be punctuated with films, points of view and personal accounts.
3 minutes to convince: videos
Experts with a strong view on a measure that could help to improve urban mobility record their position using a webcam: these videos will be screened at the conference. For example, for some THE solution is periurban development, while for others it is the compact city; or a drastic parking fee policy; or replacing private cars with motorbikes; or replacing motorbikes with mass transit vehicles; or the digital city and restricted mobility; or dedicated public transport lanes on motorways.
A series of interviews with decision-makers
Big-city decision-makers, such as Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Jean-Paul Huchon, Chairman of the Île-de-France Region, have given concrete examples of immobility projects that they have supported, despite controversy, based around the question: “What drove you?”
During the conference, people will be able to access all the completed research on multimedia terminals (the collaborative document web platform movemaking.com), and also contribute themselves by recording their own views or posting on the forum.
Scientific management of the conference:
Scientific director: Jean-Pierre Orfeuil, professor at the Paris Institute of Urban Planning (Paris-East University Créteil), president of IVM’s Scientific and Strategy Council and member of the Scientific Committee of La Fabrique de la Cité
Mireille Apel- Muller, General delegate of IVM
Isabel Arteaga, architect, professor at University los Andes, Bogotá, member of the IVM-Latin America academic chair
Juan Pablo Bocarejo, engineer, professor at Los Andes University, Bogotá, member of the IVM-Latin America academic chair
Andres Borthagaray, Head of IVM America Latina, Buenos Aires
Jean-François Doulet, Project leader « China », associate Professor at the Paris Institute of Urban Planning
Frédéric De Coninck, professor and director at l’école doctorale ville et environnement de l’Université Paris Est
Mathieu Flonneau, historian, associate professor at Paris I University
Rosanna Forray, architect, professor at the Catholic University of Chile, Santiago de Chili, member of the IVM-Latin America academic chair
Frédéric Gilli, economist and geographer, professor at the Paris Institute of Political Science, Paris
Isabelle Laudier, Head of the Caisse des dépôts Research Institute, Paris
Pierre Lannoy, sociologists, professor at the METICES Urban Research Centre at the Free University of Brussels
Liu Jian, architect and urban designer, associate professor at the Tsinghua University School of Architecture in Beijing, member of the IVM-China academic chair
Carles Llop, architect, professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona
Fernando Lozada Islas, professor at Ciudad Juarez University in Mexico
Nathalie Martin-Sorvillo, director of Fabrique de la Cité, Paris
Alain Meyere, director of the Mobility & Transport Department at the Île de France Institute of Development and Urbanism
Pan Haixiao, professor of Transportation Planning at Tongji University, Shanghai, and Head of the University Chair in China and of IVM’s Shanghai office
Gaëlle Rony, IVM project Manager, Ph.D. in Social Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain
José Viegas, engineer, Professor at the University of Technology of Lisbon