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Summary:

- The project

- The issues

- The objectives

- The program

 

 

The project

Mobile hyperplaces?

 

The arrival of the autonomous, connected, electric (ACE) vehicle and the passions it arouses – as well as the public and private investment it attracts – is an extreme catalyst for all the innovations and changes already underway in the field of mobilities.

This action-research project, based on a multidisciplinary international program of observation and exchanges, seeks to identify and study the different emerging and ongoing practices in on-the-move practices in on-the-move activities, beyond the simple transportation of people or goods, in order to:

  • better understand the radical changes taking place in on-the-move activities,
     

  • define the characteristics of the new spaces generated by the arrival of these hybrid and multifunctional vehicles: spaces in motion or physical places remodeled and augmented by the variety of potential uses – business, leisure, education, work, health, habitat… Places that we describe as “mobile hyperplaces”.
     

  • propose prototypes or demonstrators of services or “mobile urban micro-spaces”, based on different examples of use (in terms of the nature of the activities and the diversity of national and international urban conditions).

Download the project presentation (2018)
Download the mid-project brochure (2019)
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A three-year action-research program which aims to:
 

  • Observe, in an interdisciplinary and international approach, activities conducted on the move (work, services, shops, leisure, health, community…), whether in emerging trends, makeshift forms for the poorest populations, or in their luxurious aspects. Observation will focus on activities, objects, adaptations of public policies, or spaces. It should produce deliverables that can be disseminated and presented (photo reportage, videos, exhibitions, publications…)

  • Analyze the services and objects of tomorrow and their new interactions with the spaces of flow and of the city;

  • Propose ways in which they can be implemented and developed by economic actors in the world of transportation and urban mobilities;

  • Develop demonstrators of mobile services within a territorial zone.

The issues

Innovation, offbeat uses, business

The history of innovation shows that new technological objects do not always find their audience, or sometimes do so in a roundabout way. Will these new connected objects and services, with their potential to change our day-to-day mobility practices, be used as their designers expect? Can we already foresee other forms of appropriation? What advantages will they bring compared with today’s mobile objects?

 

What needs will they be able to fullfil? Will they create new opportunities for activities, for encounters, or responses to new “hyper-mobile” needs that are as yet ill-identified or unexpressed? What will be the margins of innovation in terms of usage? Will they trigger the emergence of new sociabilities? From the point of view of practices, what will be the innovations linked with everyday urban reality?

​Transformation of public space and territorial reorganization

​If these innovations can be perceived positively, what territorial reorganizations may they produce? Who will be the winners and losers from these changes? What can be done to prevent the risks of exclusion and to spread the benefits of these innovations as widely as possible?

New governance and new professions

​GAFA’s entry into the world of transportation is disrupting the system of actors. What adjustments will the most traditional players have to make? How are the transportation businesses going to change? Will a transit operator be able to become a mobility operator in the broader sense? Will businesses be able to take advantage of the time released during travel by offering new services? What will be the role of central and local government and what new regulations will be introduced to cover these emerging activities, in order to guarantee equity between territories, in a way that reflects their economic, sociodemographic, and physical specificities and realities?

 

The objectives

 

Phase #1: observe

 

Since the changes are already here, the international research hub established within the program, with a network of partners in Latin America, China, Africa, Europe – universities, research labs, design offices, businesses, and territorial authorities – together with IVM’s networks around the world, is seeking to observe on-the-move activities as they are today, with all their diversity of situations and mobile objects. The investigation will include activities, objects, adaptations of public policies or spaces.


Already, traditional, new or updated mobile services and activities are being invented and proliferating. They can be found among the poorest – often informal and makeshift – or in the world of luxury (for the richest, the airplane becomes an office, the automobile a sports hall or a home cinema…).
Whereas urban gatherings and temporary cities – for festivals or political or cultural events – revive memories of the mobile cities of the 1970s, 3-D printers have opened up the way to large-scale mobile platforms (hospitals, laboratories, temporary factories, factory-boats) and to agile maintenance within easy reach of users (in situ repair and production of missing or damaged parts, manufacture of personalized prostheses).

The roll-out of the 4G mobile telephony, the spread of the smartphones and the enthusiasm for social media, are facilitating the development of a variety of mobile services: in-flow delivery, food trucks, bicycle repairs and mobile libraries, hairdressers, assistance to the
homeless…


Thanks to an internet connection, sometimes precarious and unstable in the poorest neighborhoods and cities, new interactions, both presential and remote, are emerging between users and service providers, generating public micro-spaces of varying longevity, connected to the flows that are often the source of these activities.

Some mobile public services – mail, healthcare, education… – make particular sense in areas where population density is too low for a stable activity to settle.


The field of observation excludes urban services (such as street cleaning, garbage collection…): while such services may undergo big changes, such future robot-vehicles cannot in principle constitute places, since they are not habitable.

The cases studied will need to be chosen in different territories (dense inner-city, suburbs, countryside, wealthy and working class neighborhoods…) and may include existing or projected practices, or even abandoned projects, provided that the reasons for their failure are analyzed. Also included may be certain high-traffic zones (freeway pull-off areas, intersections, temporary markets…).

Phase 3: identifying potentials for development with the ACV

 

Between low-tech and high-tech, DIY or factory modifications, is the ACV a possible accelerator of transformations in practice?


Mobility objects –second-hand cars, vans, “small mobility objects”, tuk-tuks…–are already being adapted, customized, to accommodate new or revived activities, whether digital or physical.


They are often diverted from their initial uses, either through tinkering or sometimes simply through the incorporation of a connected “high-tech” component (currently often a smartphone and its numerous applications, in the future on-board systems or robotics).


These objects help us to identify the criteria that ACE vehicles will need to meet in order to become an appropriate medium for the development of new activities and a mobile urban micro-space in their own right. These characteristics may vary depending on territories, cultures, individual practices.

Phase #2: analyse

 

In the second phase, explorations – interviews, observation, geographical or architectural analyses, analysis of economic sectors, guided tours, documentary, narrative, sound recording, computer graphics… – will help to identify practices that are already contributing to the transformation, sometimes, temporary, of the places they are implemented.


How do these activities contribute to the creation of new urban micro-spaces that challenge the boundary between mobility and immobility?


The generalized connectivity that creates the conditions for
teleworking, enhanced last-mile logistics, the sharing of mobility objects, collaborative mobility services, real-time information on traffic conditions…

 

We are seeing the early signs of hybridization of lifestyles and business activities – the bicycle rider who delivers home meals, the multi-skilled entrepreneur… – and of a rise in the complexity of the interactions between mobile activities, urban territories, and individuals.

Phase 3: identifying potentials for development with the ACV

 

Between low-tech and high-tech, DIY or factory modifications, is the ACV a possible accelerator of transformations in practice?


Mobility objects –second-hand cars, vans, “small mobility objects”, tuk-tuks…–are already being adapted, customized, to accommodate new or revived activities, whether digital or physical.


They are often diverted from their initial uses, either through tinkering or sometimes simply through the incorporation of a connected “high-tech” component (currently often a smartphone and its numerous applications, in the future on-board systems or robotics).


These objects help us to identify the criteria that ACE vehicles will need to meet in order to become an appropriate medium for the development of new activities and a mobile urban micro-space in their own right. These characteristics may vary depending on territories, cultures, individual practices.

Phase 4: imagining tomorrow’s mobile hyperplaces, urban micro-spaces or producers of urbanness, and developing a demonstrator?


What will be tomorrow’s mobile hyperplaces? What impact will they have on public space, whether activities take place in a dense urban environment already equipped with equivalent fixed amenities, or in low-density areas where the conditions for success will need to be created?


Connected to information, energy and transport flows, the mobile activities arising and proliferating through the arrival of hybrid and multifunctional vehicles are likely to be singular in their relation to space.
Will they contribute to the reorganization of the places they pass through, or even to the production of new places? Will the new spaces thus created allow friction, human interaction, unexpected encounters or experiences?

 

Will they contribute to urban community, or conversely reinforce a tendency towards the hyper-privatization and hyper-personalization of public space?

Will these connected mobile urban places be catalysts for a new urban condition, or simply “capsules” that consolidate existing social divisions?

 

In short, will they become hyperplaces? What roles will city authorities play in regulating them and guaranteeing their spatial quality?, What impact will these changes have on the profession of urban design?
 

This program is part of a process that affirms the right of the city for each and every person. It seeks to develop proposals that correspond to a belief in public space, in democratic access to urban amenities. The proposer demonstrators will need to be service-oriented.
 

The purpose of the international analysis of varied examples of use is thus to generate debate around these new practices and their urban implications. A prototype mobile urban service will be developed with the project’s partners.

 

 

The program

 

The international dimension

 

  • Exploring activities in local situations, from the richest to the poorest, the most connected to the most isolated, in Latin America, in Africa, in Europe, or in China.

  • Revealing, through comparative monographs, the differences or inequalities between territories, as well as the multiplicity of practices.

Project-based demonstration


On the basis of what is already emerging, a project approach will be employed to embody and demonstrate what might be an offbeat, oblique effect of innovation in public space, on the principle that the practices of today can tell us about tomorrow.

A multidisciplinary approach


The changes currently underway challenge traditional disciplinary divisions. That is why mobile activities and services will be explored in all their dimensions: cultural, spatial, cognitive, social, economic, marketing, historical, architectural, urban, scientific, geographical, political... The shifting interplay of actors will also be considered, from the perspective of the sociology of innovation and the history of transportation and technologies.
Special attention will be paid to the design –mobile objects and urban furniture –of these hyperspaces.

The IVM way


Gradually constructing the project through a variety of intermediate deliverables, and using cultural and artistic practices as elements of enquiry and experiment that feed into the scientific and academic aspects of the project.

Timetable

  • 2017: establishment of the steering group and project consortium, collection of expert inputs, definition of the working method, state of the art, summary of practices, problem formulation, methodology of international studies, preliminary studies

  • 2018: roll-out of international studies withinthe international researchhub, discussion and design workshops, lectures, audiovisual surveys on examples of practices, publications, calls for projects, identification of demonstrators (specifications, feasibility)

  • 2019-2020: implementation of a service or vehicle prototype in an area, dissemination, communication

 

 
 

Le projet

Des hyperlieux mobiles ?

L’ARRIVÉE DU VÉHICULE ÉLECTRIQUE, AUTONOME ET CONNECTÉ (VAC) et les passions qu’il soulève - autant que les investissements publics et privés qu’il attire - est un catalyseur extrême pour toutes les innovations et mutations déjà en cours dans le champ des mobilités.

Ce projet de recherche action, à partir d’un programme d’observation et d’échanges international et multidisciplinaire, vise à IDENTIFIER ET À ÉTUDIER LES DIVERSES ÉMERGENCES ET PRATIQUES ACTUELLES DANS LES ACTIVITÉS EN MOUVEMENT, au-delà du simple transport de personnes ou de biens, pour :

  • MIEUX APPRÉHENDER LES MUTATIONS radicales en cours dans les activités mobiles,
     

  • DÉFINIR LES CARACTÉRISTIQUES DES NOUVEAUX ESPACES induits par l’arrivée de ces véhicules hybrides et multifonctionnels : espaces en mouvement ou espaces physiques requalifiés et augmentés par la diversité des usages potentiels - commerce, loisirs, éducation, travail, santé, habitat… - que l’on pourra appeler « hyperlieux mobiles »

  • PROPOSER, à partir de cas d’usage différents (du point de vue de la nature des activités comme de la diversité des contextes urbains nationaux et internationaux), DES PROTOTYPES OU DÉMONSTRATEURS DE SERVICES ou de « micro espaces urbains mobiles ».

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Télécharger la brochure d'étape du projet (2019)
Télécharger la présentation
du projet (2018)

Un programme de recherche-action sur trois ans, qui vise à : 

  • OBSERVER, dans une approche interdisciplinaire et internationale, les activités en mouvement (travail, services, commerces, loisirs, santé, solidarités…), aussi bien dans les tendances émergentes, des formes bricolées pour les plus pauvres, que dans ses dimensions luxueuses. Seront considérées des activités, des objets, des adaptations des politiques publiques ou des espaces. Cette observation devra produire des livrables diffusables et exposables (reportages photos, vidéos, expositions, publications…),

  • ANALYSER les services et les objets de demain et leurs nouvelles interactions avec les espaces du flux et de la ville,

 

  • PROPOSER des manières de les valoriser et les développer par les acteurs économiques du monde du transport et des mobilités urbaines,

 

  • DÉVELOPPER des démonstrateurs de services mobiles sur un territoire.

 A project by