CE22 - Mobilité et systèmes urbains durables

Time-oriented planning for sustainability – UrbaTime

Submission summary

The UrbaTime project purpose is to understand the way in which time can be integrated to policies aiming to build the sustainability of urban systems. To achieve this objective, a transversal analysis of various contemporary urban conceptions, suggesting a different way of thinking of the relationship between planning and time, will be conducted. This study is essential as part of the sustainable planning building process because 1/ The study of sustainable cities and sustainable urban planning is rarely considered from a temporal perspective, although the notion of sustainable development is intrinsically time-oriented; 2/establishing sustainability in the production and management of urban spaces goes hand in hand with the growing importance of certain urban planning conceptions, as temporary urban planning, flexible urban planning, tactical urbanism, ephemeral urbanism...These conceptions are based on short periods of time or revising the traditional phases of urban projects. The dissemination and success of certain innovative urban planning conceptions are a clear indication pf a transformation of urban planners' relations to time. However, this transformation has not yet been really questioned by researchers. Time is still a relative unthinkable element of urban research, although some researchers have been calling for its study for a long time now, notably in its links with sustainability.
The researchers of the project put forward three hypotheses: (H1) time is a key element in the construction of a sustainable city; (H2) the urban planning conceptions under study renew how time is considered in urban planning. The new, temporalized conceptions highlight the extent to which time is a strategic resource; (H3) these conceptions reinforce the sustainability of urban systems. This hypothesis is regularly highlighted by the operational stakeholders of urban planning, but still needs to be tested scientifically.
Studying the temporal dimensions of urban planning operations and their links with the objective of constructing sustainable urban systems requires addressing a methodological challenge. The UrbaTime project suggests an original approach centered on the construction mechanisms of time by stakeholders, as well as their arbitrations. The project thus proposes three inputs for the analysis: (1) the study of the elaboration and circulation of knowledge, (2) the study of making of the project's time frames by the stakeholders, (3) the study of the socio-spatial effects over time.
The analysis of these three inputs will be made possible through an important empirical work based on three cities: Bordeaux, Lyon and Montreal, and some intersections will be done at several scales: local, national and international. The data collection methodology is based on the mobilization of stakeholders, the collection and analysis of documents, the attendance to meetings.
The project will provide in-depth knowledge of successful urban concepts that have not yet been subject to a cross-cutting analysis. It will firstly try to shed light on their nature, their dissemination, the circulation of knowledge to which they are subject, especially in terms of knowledge of urban time frames and their mastery. The project will help better understand the representations of time of the stakeholders, the way they are mobilized, or even the construction of common project timeframes. Finally, the research will shed light on the sustainability of the socio-spatial effects of the conceptions under study, in order to have a better understanding of possible articulations of time, especially between short term and long term actions.
One of the major contributions of the research suggested is to respond to the growing demands for public policy expertise concerning the temporalities of the urban fabrication and to provide an operational reference framework for the sustainable city.

Project coordination

Sandra MALLET (EA 2076 Habiter)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


HABITER EA 2076 Habiter

Help of the ANR 224,532 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2018 - 48 Months

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