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L'espace urbain à l'épreuve de la mobilité individuelle. Une recherche interculturelle (Suisse, USA, Japon)

English title Urban space "tested" by individual mobility. A cross-cultural research (Switzerland, USA, Japan)
Applicant Lévy Jacques
Number 116181
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne BP 2 245, Station 16
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.04.2007 - 30.09.2009
Approved amount 197'473.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Social geography and ecology

Keywords (16)

Spatial practice; Individual; Dwelling; Urban spaces; Situational logic; Urbanness; Mobility; Urban space; Los Angeles; Tokyo; Lemanic Metropolis; Quality of space; Poly-topical dwelling; Situated action; Dwelling styles; Mapping

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
1. Aims

The objective of this research is a better understanding of the mechanisms that produce the quality of urban spaces, with the questions of individual people's mobility and day-to-day practices serving as a horizon. To gain adequate knowledge of the urban environment, it is essential that this increased mobility is taken into account. Through their customary activities, their frequenting of places they visit and occupy more or less permanently, individuals make quite as much of a contribution as decision-makers and private enterprises towards the constitution of urbanity, towards the creation of meaning and the endowment of their living space with its specificities. Approaching contemporary cities as places for mobile individuals with very differentiated “dwelling styles” is the aim, thus developing a different vision of urban space. This is important for scientific knowledge as well as for valorisation.

2. Scientific and societal context

2.1. Scientific world
Our research we will link together research on the urban and mobility by contending the quality of urban spaces is defined essentially by the spaces constituted by mobile individuals. We hope that in this manner, we will be able to make a significant contribution to the exploration and the instruments of knowledge available to the decision-makers and practitioners as they make use of today's space to build tomorrow's world.

2.2. The world of decision-makers
Our research intends also to transform the vision of decision-makers on urban phenomena. First, by underlining the urban development is essentially directed through inhabitating individuals. Second, by a specific mapping technique on an individual scale. Mapping individual spatial practices could therefore inform urban planning by reconsidering the adequate scale of urban development.

3. Research plan and methodologies

In order to propose a different conception of the urban environment, it appears to be necessary to take up a dual interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective to be able to elucidate this link between mobility, dwelling, and the quality of urban space. Our research is founded on the following hypothesis: the poly-topical dwelling styles are convergent in cross-cultural contexts of metropolitan spaces. The metropolises of Tokyo, Los Angeles and the métropole lémanique (the conurbation extending along Lake Geneva from Geneva itself through Nyon and Lausanne to Vevey-Montreux) will serve to put this perspective to an empirical test.
Our approach yields empirical material with the help of qualitative survey techniques on mobility practices. This material will be analysed by means of original cartography and content analysis.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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135390 Entre abîme et métaphormose. Une approche interdiscplinaire du développement des stations touristiques. 01.11.2011 Interdisciplinary projects