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Cities and mobilities: Reinventing proximities

Urban projects, infrastructures, Smart City ...Bouygues Construction is involved in various projects for which mobility plays a central role. Virginie Alonzi, Outlook Director, discusses the innovative solutions that are arising in the wake of emerging uses.

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The cities of today are faced with multiple challenges! Not least mobility! The world of mobilities is changing rapidly and various factors in it have an impact on our daily lives. To begin with, the heritage of a Fordist city organised by function combined with demographic growth have favoured the dispersion of inhabitants, employment and urban sprawl. The digital sector has revolutionised our habits in the broad sense: consumption, training, work, leisure, accommodation, transport...and mobility is no exception! The changes have been numerous and there have also been developments in lifestyles, growing urbanisation, the arrival of new players in the sector...so many factors that raise the issue of our mobility needs.

The word of ...
Virginie Alonzi
Outlook Director at Bouygues Construction
"Acting on our mobilities is all about the quality of life and well-being of citizens but it is also a matter of the future of the planet"

In parallel with these factors, there is growing awareness of the impact of certain modes of transport in terms of congestion, noise, pollution and their effects on the environment and health. Cities and regions must confront these negative externalities and propose a less stressful and less polluted living environment in order to meet the expectations of the citizens that we are, as well as to respond to the environmental challenges. The issues involving mobility are numerous: they are social and societal, environmental, economic and technological in nature (without mentioning the political aspect). The world of mobilities is changing rapidly and is no longer confined to transport!

FUTURE MOBILITIES in the eyes of the Group

For several months, we took an open and collaborative approach to the mobility of goods and persons in order to act jointly (players and users together) to produce a vision of the ideal state of mobilities by 2030. We examined mobility supply and demand from a perspective of the uses made of it and the expectations of citizens. Mobility operators, collectivities, institutions, companies, startups, sociologist, players on the real property market and more contributed to this thinking process by sharing their visions and challenging their ideas using a sociological approach that combined the involvement of experts and future-orientated workshops. We also relied on the Observatory of Emerging Uses in Cities (OUEV), which carried out a survey on a sample of 4,000 people, representing the French population, and 3,000 Europeans, in order to hear how representations of the city had changed and the emergence of new mobility practices.

Expert's opinion
Bruno Marzloff
Sociologist and expert in mobility issues
"Today, proximity is the fundamental linchpin of our urban lives."

For all these reasons, as a player in the region and as part of the urban fabric, we wanted to act collectively to encourage thinking on certain issues in order to improve the quality of private individuals’ lives whilst trying to reduce our environmental aspect, by adopting an approach focusing on uses.
We think that the fabric of cities and the fabric of new mobilities will be woven from uses!


We explored future urban configurations via 5 themes, which can be seen as “tensions” currently affecting discussions on future mobilities: #1 Suburban mobilities : for several years now, we have observed a burgeoning number of new offers in the centres of cities and metropolises: bike and scooter share, car-sharing, carpooling, etc. These new mobilities consolidate further an already well-developed public transport system, and facilitate the daily lives of citizens who are already very mobile. So which solutions can be envisaged for less densely-populated areas? Should existing solutions be adapted or should new models be found and, above all, how should this take place?

#2 The role of data in mobility services : numerous public bodies have launched OpenData campaigns over the past few years; the giants of the digital industry have succeeded in using our personal data to create highly personalised services in the mobility sector. Which new data governance and regulations could be invented, and what can the role of players in the private sector be in this regard? What is “public interest data” and which services can data let us imagine?

#3 The emergence of self-driving vehicles : over and above the argument about the technical aspects, how can self-driving vehicles be used for the benefit of cities and to help tackle the issues they face? Are self-driving vehicles the key to achieving peace and quiet in public places and well-being in the city? Under which conditions?

#4 Demobility, or how the players responsible for creating the fabric of cities can implement local services inside and around buildings (housing, offices, etc.): shared fleets, working spaces, concierge services, etc.
In other words: how can developers become involved locally?

#5 The mobility of goods remains essential, as does the mobility of persons. Its exponential increase over the past few years, driven by the rise in e-commerce, raises questions.
Which territorial governance is conceivable in terms of logistics and what could the role of developers?


Reducing undesired travel, consuming locally, using local services within your neighbourhood, preferring soft mobility, working from home...transforming our mobility profiles and reinventing our daily routine in the search for proximity.
This keen ambition focusing on proximities calls our existing customs into question and encourages us to rethink our lifestyles, how regions are developed and configured, and the services offered in order to meet the new expectations of society. Mobility hubs could be one potential response: a fine mesh of locations with a concentrated mobility offer, as well as a concentration of daily resources and amenities.

Want to know more about it? You can read the full report on “Cities and mobilities, reinventing proximities” on Com.Unity Desk in the section Prospective & Strategic Marketing or by clicking here.

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Contact : Virginie ALONZI
Foresight Director - DPMS - Bouygues Construction SA
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