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SIMON Gwendal

Navigating the city : Tourist mobility in Paris.

Thesis director : Francis Godard

The objective of this thesis is to understand the mobility patterns of tourists during their visits to Paris. How these patterns influence their choices regarding places, transportation modes, and navigation tools when faced with the novel social and urban context which surrounds them, and how does this mobility support their tourism plans ? How is mobility used by this group to support the decisions, strategies, and expectations of their tourist stay in Paris ? We may classify tourists by referring to the various methods used in constructing their movements (more « autonomous » or more « assisted »), and their plans and mobility choices (from wandering about on foot to guided transport in a tour bus) reveal their relationship to the city, marked either by a desire for experiences offering more « frontal » contact with the city (discovery tourism) or by the desire to verify in situ the most visible signs of Parisian tourism (ritual tourism).


PRADEL Benjamin

Temporary urban events : social representations, collective uses and urban planning challenges (eg. Paris-Plage)

Thesis Director : F. Godard | Advisor : M.-H. Massot

Thesis abstract

For a long time, the accumulation of functions and the geographic centrality explained the large attendance of city centers. Today, their uniqueness is growing weaker because of the dissipation of function and the mobility increasing. As a signal of urbanity, public spaces’ animation is becoming an issue in urban competition. Consequently, the party is used as tool of gathering. Instrumentalization of party by urban planning produced new territories which retread the principles of functional urbanism defined in the 70’s and 80’s. Urban action has been renewed around festive symbolism and worked in the rebuilding of central public spaces uniqueness. It tries to create use of spaces designating common times and she hopes their collective validation.



An analysis of the relationship between transportation infrastructure and the evolution of the urban fabric : the case of the Metro network in the dense zone of the Paris region.

Thesis director : Francis Godard

Since 1970, the Parisian Metro has repeatedly extended its reach into the suburbs. This work intends to grasp the relationship between the extension of metro lines into the dense suburban zone and the evolution of the surrounding urban fabric, by identifying both changes in land use and (re)emerging forms of polarisation in sectors that could be referred to as “pericentral”, which exhibit a pronounced spatial heterogeneity. We shall both question the notion of “effect” and resituate the question of metro line extensions within that of the general evolution of relationships between the capital city and its periphery. The results of this initial geographic and historic approach will contribute to a second prospective step concerning the plan to create circular suburban metro system, which has regularly reappeared on the agenda in recent years.



Urban change and transportation infrastructure : examining causality

Thesis director : Jean-Pierre Orfeuil (Créteil, University of Paris XII) | Framer LVMT : Caroline Gallez

This thesis will study the interaction between urban growth and transportation system development. The general problem is the following : How can we evaluate the effects of transportation network development on the growth and organization of an urban region ? Considering that commuter travel has historically structured the interaction between urban growth and transportation infrastructure development, we have chosen to concentrate on changes in the localization of employment and housing in the Parisian region. The timescale of our investigation will be approximately 30 years, and our work will concentrate on polycentrism and transportation infrastructure. It will address on one hand the impact of transportation infrastructure on sprawl, examining the differences between the effects of rail networks and those of road networks, and on the other hand disruptions in the progression of sprawl from the main center toward the periphery caused by the presence of secondary centres (i.e. traditional urban centres or new cities).



Post offices : New lifestyles, new accessibilities, new services, and new professional behaviors

Thesis director : Frédéric de Coninck

University : UMLVBeginning : oct 2003Defence : oct 2006Financing : CIFRE



Mobility and the social bond.

Thesis director : Frédéric de Coninck

The question of the social bond has come back into the forefront in sociology, and is being posed today because the disappearance or the disintegration of this bond would, in the long term, threaten society itself. Mobility may play a particularly strong role in this characteristically hypermodern process of the dissolution or liquefaction of bonds. The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate how mobility contributes to a less categorical change : that of a social bond which tends to become other. The bond is stretched, but also multiplied ; it is progressively more elective, but its disappearance still has negative effects on individuals : isolation, depression, suicide, etc. While the purpose of mobility is to create interactions, the movement process that it mobilizes is often considered to be hollow, empty and solitary. Is this necessarily so ? What are the practices of individuals in motion ? Do these practices participate in the creation of a social bond ? If so, what is the nature of this bond ? How does it manifest itself ? If not, what is the foundation of this absence of bond ? Is increased mobility sustainable if the individual is not connected to the surrounding society ? Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used in responding to this set of questions.



Fares : Assessments of whether fare rises in the Ile de France region are appropriate

Thesis director : Jean Laterrasse

Private transport has adapted better than public transport to travel patterns that are changing depending on the place, the reason and the time. Because they depend on the transport mode chosen by the passenger and also produce revenue, fares appear to offer an interesting solution to difficulties.

Although the impact of fare rises would be marginal compared to an increased public transport offer, our simulations (IMPACT4) have shown that several avenues for improvement were available. First of all, there is room for manœuvre in public transport fares for occasional trips, to attract new « solvent » users. However, for commuter fares, which are already highly attractive, only a thorough reform of the fare structure appears to be suitable. Furthermore, making car drivers pay an urban toll rather than a carbon tax appears to be more effective where redistribution measures on top of lower prices or improved service offer are implemented alongside.