REEDS NewsReels

Urban Living Labs, territorial development and management tool: Transitioning to resilient and low carbon cities



17 October 2012

Report by: Cécile Tchoubaev and François Apicella, students at Econoving Master – UVSQ

Panel: Martin O’Connor - Chair, Professor and Director of REEDS, UVSQ;


Alain Bui began the discussion by stressing the particularly high importance of, and attention paid to, sustainability at UVSQ.


Robert Cadalbert highlighted and introduced the audience to the role of CASQY as an experimental city towards sustainability. CASQY was established in the ‘60’s as one of the “New Towns“ of Greater Paris, and the idea was to gather all day-to-day needs for the local population – very much on the path towards eco-cities of the future: a town close to jobs, with trainings, leisure, sport…. And most importantly nowadays, the University is commited to functioning as the heart of CASQY - a future eco-city.


Sylvie Faucheux continued by pointing out that the newly established PRES UPGO, a Federation of Research Centres and Universities “Grand Paris Ouest” is gathering under his name a series of institutions from the departments of Yvelines and Val d’Oise, with a broad spectrum of specialisations – from architecture and arts to landscape and mobility.  She explained that this International Workshop Ecocities of the Future integrates ideas of sustainable campuses and of development of the local territories through sustainable innovations towards eco-city objectives. She further highlighted the opportunity of comparisons and further benchmarking within these workshops thanks to two Universities:  Tonji University in Shanghai, a front-running University in terms of green campus and Grand Valley State University, USA. The latter University has developed strong links with the town of Grand Rapids, which is pioneering experimental eco-city developments. Two hundred and fifty participants will attend the conferences.


Marie-Françoise Guyonnaud presented the aim of the Urban Living Lab (ULL) piloted by Fondaterra. The ULLs have been created in order to evaluate all the means to be put in place to transform an existing City into a SUSTAINABLE City (low carbon emission). This is about testing a new model of development: common action between the universities, municipalities and enterprises, aiming at the creation of a Green Campus oriented on its territory. Another aim is to create new usages, and to understand how to accompany energy transition and a paradigm change at the territorial scale, how to achieve energy transition with local stakeholders. Yet a further aim of ULL is to provide support for the development of new uses which will enable new technologies – which further implies a need for permanent evaluation. This work is done in collaboration with CASQY, which is part of the “European Network of Living Labs“. Last but not least, she has noted that among the other projects developed at Fondaterra are: the  implementation of a "demonstrator" at departmental level, projects on environmentally friendly agriculture, smartgrids, smart mobility and smart buildings, waste selective sorting, and the consolidation of an annual student challenge “Greentic Campus“ – a financial and expert gateway for sustainability-oriented start-ups. Within the last three years, the programme has created four start-ups.


Martin O’Connor closed the session by remarking on the great opportunity represented by this event to promote twinning between territories (further from city twinning) and presented the rest of the programme for the three day international conference, while highlighting the very fact that a new ICT system is being tested using the occasion of this international workshop – a new videoconferencing system, coupled with a web broadcast followed by news briefs of the works made by students via REEDS.


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