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The neighborhood, the first level of mobility?


Considered today as an essential factor in the development and attractiveness of a territory, mobility is one of the main levers of development and is integrated into all levels of urban planning so as to provide a continuity of services to users. The neighborhood is the first "brick" in this network.

In 2019, building and mobility players, gathered in the real estate and mobility convergence consortium, were thinking about possible forms of sharing and pooling around "mobility-ready buildings" and "building-integrated mobility". Among their first arguments, reasons of savings, logic and practicality: "Local mobility - work, school, shopping - represents more than 90% of travel. And housing remains the number one expense for families". They also highlighted the emergence of new digital tools, new sharing habits (cars by users), the need to reduce the overall carbon footprint of buildings (30% from induced travel), the increased development of urban logistics and last mile management, the positive results of "smart grid" experiments, and changes in the legal framework with the implementation of the law on the orientation of mobility (LOM). All these factors, along with the deployment of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) or serviced mobility, call for the development of a model where mobility must be considered from the design stage of a real estate program.

A new approach that brings together

The real estate and city design industries have understood this: they are participating in the transition of uses by increasingly integrating mobility into the design of buildings. Because it is by transforming buildings into genuine platforms for mobility services, which are both scalable and comfortable, that we open up to a city that is itself intelligent and sustainable. Several areas for action have been identified:

  • To bet on "less" rather than better or different. If only to limit urban sprawl, reduce construction costs (and thus reinforce the eco-responsibility of operations) and access to housing by optimizing building spaces.
  • Enhance the building to make it a service platform, by integrating recharging infrastructures, shared parking, equipped bicycle rooms, and electric vehicles among its equipment.
  • Develop complementary uses through mixed-use real estate programs that combine offices, housing and business premises in order to optimize flows. A mixed-use project can also save up to 28% of parking spaces and generate revenue through shared services that are open to the outside world.
  • Changing scale: the general trend is a return to proximity, where the neighborhood is the basic unit of mobility, where walking is once again the preferred means of locomotion.

To achieve this, a new public/private pact must be concluded between planners, mobility service operators, local authorities and real estate developers. The integration of mobility issues at the neighborhood level will make it possible to find a new balance between metropolises and medium-sized cities. All that remains is to find an economic model!


Source: *La Tribune of December 12, 2019 (