Innovation Workshops for Metropolitan Areas, a preparatory phase for the development of International Project-Workshops

June 15, 2016 UTC-Compiegne hosted the presentation of the results of the first Innovation Workshop for Metropolitan Areas (acronym in French AIM) on the theme “multimodal mobility scenarios” on the Rio da Janeiro campus, by students in the UTC-GSU (Urban Engineering Systems) Department.

Innovation Workshops for Metropolitan Areas, a preparatory phase for the development of International Project-Workshops

A novel pedagogical approach …

With the support and the financial backing of the “Degree College” programme (Sorbonne), these AIMs are designed principally to assure the development of international project workshops (APIs) with the framework of a larger network of public and private partnerships.The idea is – over one semester – to have several teams, from at least two different countries, collaborate (Degree level 3 and Master’s Degree) on a joint programme such as the prospective and futuristic evolution of a site, for example. Each team, with its supervisors, collaborates with the other teams engaged via digital links, to attain the objectives set by the project sponsor. They organize the project management as they would in a design office, with phased stages – initial state, diagnosis, first draft proposals and a final phase to present the work and the positive nature they see in their results.

… focused on the challenges facing major metropolitan areas

Among the societal questions of the 21st Century, international metropolitan areas provide an attractive and relevant site for technological innovation and multicultural inputs, inasmuch as there are numerous specialties that converge to build the cities of the future on the basis of challenges that revolves round mobility, environmental and energy politics within the overarching aim of sustainable development.


A pilot project in Rio da Janeiro to validate the concept

To open the way, a pilot project has been set up on the campus of the FURJ campus (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), following a show of interest by the local Mayor, Paulo Mario Ripper, who would like to improve mass transportation and the development of alternative modes such a bicycles, car-sharing or even a magnetic levitation train concept (MAGLEV). The decision was taken to work on the internal campus mobility, in a partnership with FURJ , the University of Paris 4 - Sorbonne and the RATP Paris mass transport consortium.

Having students face up to reality in the field

Three teams (one each from the establishments mentioned) propose several scenarios, combining different transport modes that could meet the short, medium and long term expectation of the commuters. They therefore carried out a professional, pluridisciplinary analysis, both from a system point of view (connections between transport, planning and the environmental constraints) and the technical; point of view (modelling the mobility flow patterns) and the socio-economic aspects (polling users and identifying needs and shortfalls). This metropolitan site provides an excellent study area for students, enabling them to experiment their theoretical skills, to acquire new knowledge trough the eXperience gained here, and to develop creativity and innovation, faced with these issues that impact directly on ‘civvy street’, industry and local authorities.


Long-term prospects

This first experience prove successful and so now the students and partners are joining their thoughts to determine how to make the system last in time and be consolidated, notably through the creation of a urban mangers training specialty courts and a network of universities round the world to support these projects.