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A Radical Change in Urban Transport to Challenge Sustainability

Friday, Sep 26, 2008

The Paradigm of Mobility

RATP, the major transit operator responsible for public transportation in Paris and its surroundings, has employed an innovative and provocative group of thinkers to aid in their planning for the future. Unlike many U.S. transit properties, or transportation agencies, where planning is simply matching estimates of future demand to changes in supply, RATP asks ,”What will the mobility needs of future Parisians be?”

Changing demographics, emerging cultural shifts, economic shifts, attention to the environment -- all add to the complexity of responding to this question. So RATP works with experts, not only in technology, but also the social sciences, and arts and letters. RATP does not believe this is a luxury, but is indeed a necessity -- for RATP is as much a part of the culture of Paris as are the cafés and left bank (La Rive Gauche).

So what will the future hold? Our Visiting Scholars write:
“Like many other fields, transport is undergoing intense and sometimes paradoxical innovation. Although it is less able than ever to predict the future, the prospective task is to hint and formulate the emerging paradigm, which implicitly underlies present and coming changes. In our field of transport and mobility, we will successively analyze three main aspects of this shift: 1) deep evolution in the uses and values of mobility; 2) unexpected innovations in the tools and means of mobility; and 3) changes and new actors in mobility profession.”

So innovative and provocative was our scholar’s recent presentation at the Metropolitan Transit Authority, that UTRC immediately arranged for them to return to NYC and share his ideas with a broad and responsive audience.

Sponsor: University Transportation Research Center Region 2

Speakers: Georges Amar, Director, Prospective & Innovative Design Team, Paris Public Transport Company (RATP) and Dominque Laousse, RATP

Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 9:30-noon

Location: Baruch College Conference Center, 151 East 25th Street, 7th Floor Conference Room

RSPV: This event is free and open to the public, but registration is necessary. Register on line or e-mail

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