At the core of city life, work hours set the rhythm of daily activities and movement. We are therefore investigating the possibility of staggering the start of the work day in order to reduce congestion at morning rush hour.
Suggestions typically put forward are based on considerations of a tactical nature : it is companies’ schedules which dictate that workers all commute at the same time. Thus, one proposed solution is to promote flexible work schedules. But our observations call this idea into question : in the Parisian region, flexible work scheduling actually magnifies the number of commuters who arrive at work during rush hour.
This paradoxical observation makes it necessary to change the way we usually think of the rush hour phenomenon. Before trying to solve peak congestions problems, we need to understand why does a worker with flexible work hours commute during rush hour. Our thesis adopted a comprehensive approach and focused on daily scheduling demands. It relied on the results of a survey (3202 respondents) and interviews (29).
The main results of the thesis are available in a short video published by the Mobile Lives Forum.
At LVMT, my research is located at the intersection of urban planning, sociology and the geography of time. It focuses on the timing of daily mobility (speeds, schedules, frequencies, travel sequences) and questions, among other things, the synchronization of mobility practices in cities, the flexibility of city dwellers’ activity programs or the feeling of pace of life’s acceleration in large Western cities.
In 2019, with the support of the Agence de Développement et de Maîtrise de l’Energie (French Agency for Development and Energy Management), I am leading an international research project based on the social demand to slow down pace of life, in order to identify new levers for ecological transition. During the first year of this project, I was hosted at the University of Bologna (Italy) and carried out field surveys in the Italian Cittàslow network. Since October 2020, I have been pursuing this project at the Laboratoire Dynamiques Economiques et Sociales des Transports, at the Université Gustave-Eiffel. In 2021, I am recruited in the LVMT, as a researcher of the ministry of ecological transition.