of urban forms
Between urbanity and mobility, which has the most influence over the other?
There should be a vision that integrates the two and does not separate them. The
French transport policy was sectored by specialists of each method, each
reasoning independently with their peculiarities. Take Le Havre as an example
not so long ago there were freight trains operating between Paris and the port.
To get to Roissy or Orly, there was originally no metro or RER… Thus there
was an absolutely necessary reflection on inter-connection; a synthesis between
the methods of transport, that is integration.
How can sustainable cities encourage the
urban planning – transport tandem?
The sustainable city is a global city concept, in that it integrates all the
physical and spatial components: pathways, transport, public spaces, constructions… The counter-example is that of the new cities of the 60s and 70s, where people scattered
all around, far from the service centres. Today we can no longer conceive of a
city without global approaches. An example is Hong Kong: a subway line joins
the city centre, and there are three stations and three cities that are grafted
For me, Paris intramural is the ideal model of sustainable city in terms of
energy, resource efficiency, transportation, mixed use – nowhere in the world is
there such a perfect. It is also one of the highest densities in the world,
with 200 inhabitants / ha. However, the suburbs paralyzed its extension, constraining
the exceptional transport network within beltway, but a single house does not
constitute urbanity or a city.
As part of the considerations that we have led in the Grand Paris project, the
transportation plan was launched in advance. From this, new metro lines are
being developed to allow for a redistribution of the city, connecting
underserved centres and opening new, well-connected, areas to urbanization.
What are the avenues to explore for the
city of the future?
Increasingly strong integration. And – regarding energy – to not forget that
the primary source of gain is to consume less. To rethink the economics of
travel, using sound methods at opportune times. Mobility is not to think about
the city moving around all the time, but to channel occupation of territories in
a more directional manner. France has dense cities, high quality territories
thwarted by urban sprawl. Today, we are considering reintegrating shopping
malls within the city, instead of the gigantic car parks that are catastrophic
for the environment, the quality of space, urban centres…
In summary, the city of the future must be redesigned around the methods of
public transport; it should be dense, mixed, integrated, and welcome part of
nature, because we know how to do this and knows its importance.
Pierre Clément, Arte Charpentier Architects