The strategic committee think tanks

The four Strategic Committees, EcoTechnologies, EcoConstruction, EcoMobility and Urban Services, are cross-functional as a true think-tank is, allowing us:

  • to carry out future-oriented studies with a view to bringing about future projects,
  • to ensure a systemic approach in evaluating projects subject to certification,
  • to take into account the societal dimension as well as other cross-functional areas such as health or safety in their work.

We are at the heart of the 3rd industrial revolution, which carries three fundamental challenges for the city:

  • « Decarbonation », i.e. the systematic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to growth and operations;
  • « Digitisation » related to the growing use of digital technologies;
  • « Decentralisation » to adapt to men, women and children’s basic needs: increasing the housing supply is, for example, to be reconciled with an increasing demand for a better life in the city.

This assumes a city that is:

  • Competitive, capable of producing goods or services in conditions at least equivalent to those of other cities or regions,
  • Creative, having recognised training, teaching, research and cultural abilities,
  • User friendly, offering public spaces conducive to mobility and exchanges and communication between people,
  • Consensual, having created the conditions for an adapted governance, and knowing to take into account the demands expressed by the inhabitants as to its organisation, its functioning, its “co-construction”.

This vision develops a model of a sustainable European city, the city embodying the above criteria that the ADVANCITY competitiveness cluster promotes. The digital aspect is an important element, but not the only one. To this tool for assessing a city’s level of sustainability must be joined a method for assessing the relevance of projects that will be undertaken there, whether on the scale of a building, a block, a neighbourhood, or the entire city.

Our interventions in the city will indeed be relevant if they facilitate the relationship between the community living there and the region. For example (list not exhaustive): the number of jobs created by a project or the number of destinations served are advantages for a city’s competitiveness; the resilience or the ability to measure the performance shown when in use help the “creative” city to adapt; the creation of “polarity points” where green spaces foster a “user-friendly” city; the methods for consulting and bringing in inhabitants chosen both upstream and for the rest of the projects are based on their acceptability, a vector of consensus.

Thus, this vision comprising the above criteria for sustainable cities matches the evaluation of a project’s relevance according to the context in which it is undertaken according to the “4A” method: advantage, adaptation, amenities, and acceptability. Implementing this approach developed by ADVANCITY’s competitiveness cluster relies on, on the one hand, taking into account a region’s development strategy on a wide scale and, on the other hand, evaluating projects under consideration from a point of view that goes beyond simple technical contingencies to include social and societal dimensions. The assessor thus acts as part of a dialogue with the local authorities and project owners and encourages the two to come together!

The think tank of the 4 ADVANCITY strategic committees produces references and theory notes that those who wish to can take advantage of. In 2017, it also undertakes to make educational documents available to the wider public.

Download the proceedings of the 6 December 2016 seminar: Digital technologies for the city, or how to design, plan, and evolve the city according the needs of its inhabitants?