urban areas

Passages, transitional spaces for the city of the 21st century
À l’heure où la mobilité est au cœur des questions urbaines, on attend de chacun de nous une compétence accrue de navigateurs connectés, passant d’un mode de transport à un autre, parcourant des distances quotidiennes variées, dans des aires métropolitaines fragmentées par les réseaux, les infrastructures rapides, les zones spécialisées.
Les passages, petits espaces de transition, sont des maillons essentiels d’une mobilité durable, indispensables à la qualité de nos déplacements quotidiens et dans la conception d'un système de mobilité intégré. Tunnels, passerelles, escalators, téléphériques urbains,...
At a time when mobility is at the heart of urban issues, each of us is expected to have a heightened knowledge of connected travellers, moving from one mode of transport to another, travelling various daily distances, in metropolitan areas fragmented by networks, rapid infrastructure and specialised areas.
These passages, small transitional spaces, are essential links in sustainable mobility, essential to the quality of our daily journeys and in the design of an integrated mobility system. Tunnels, footbridges, escalators, urban cable cars, paths that facilitate the transition between modes, between urban environments...
The history and observation of uses show us that they are potential carriers of singular urbanities, atmospheres, activities, qualities.
However, these accessibility spaces are often mainly forgotten by the builders of our cities even though they do not require a lot of investment, they should systematically support major development operations - especially the new transport projects - and they offer restorative virtues to the fractures caused by the rapid transport infrastructure and zoning of 20th-century urbanisation.
Designing and creating passages means being able to act immediately, locally, and lay the foundations for a larger-scale transformation: "the small scale that changes everything (well, almost)".
An international research-action programme (2014-2018) developed in several cities around the world (Tours/Saint Pierre-des-Corps, Shanghai, Toronto, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Valparaiso, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile, Bogota, Nantes, Volos, San José, Granada, Algiers, Cotonou, Maputo, Tunis) aimed at putting on the agenda the concrete issue of passages within the regions:
  • Professional architectural and urban planning competitions for developing passage projects in 11 cities (Tours/Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, Shanghai, 6 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Sant Adria del Besos, Toronto, Sao Paulo) which mobilised 270 multidisciplinary professional teams, or about 1000 professionals of forty nationalities,
  • Student workshops with partner universities, and on-site workshops with teams selected during Phase 2 of the competitions,
  • The Passage Manifesto, a call for innovation and guide to promote the design of the mobility spaces of tomorrow, co-produced by the scientific committee, project partners and visitors to the international exhibition.