The editor of World Streets was invited by the organizers of the 2014 MobiPrize for Enterprising Cities/States to make a nomination for an international award in recognition for cities that have demonstrated active efforts to build a culture of innovation and encourage entrepreneurship in sustainable transportation through enabling policy changes, capacity building, data sharing, funding and other resource allocation efforts. We nominated the City of Paris for the award, concentrating on innovative world level services and innovations which involve extensive and continuing public/private partnerships.
Our draft nominating message appears here. We welcome comments, corrections and suggestions for improvement or extension.
Nomination of City of Paris for 2014 MobiPrize Enterprising City Award
As publisher of World Streets (https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/), and managing director of EcoPlan International’s New Mobility Agenda program (since 1988) I am pleased to nominate the city of Paris for the 2014 MobiPrize Enterprising City Award.
The credentials and accomplishments of the city of Paris over the last several decades during which they moved from being ” one more city with too many cars going too fast and quality of life suffering in the process” to that of an acknowledged world leader in terms of its mobility and public space arrangements is widely recognized . And while it is easy enough to see the results of this long-term sustainable transport policy, the process behind it is not so self-evident. Here is one important element.
The city of Paris has over these years of transition had a long history of close collaboration with the enterprise sector, including both established industrial centers of excellence, transportation management groups, service suppliers, specialized consultancies, startups and groups representing civil society. In general the city concentrates on strategic planning, policy and oversight, relying extensively on private and mixed-sector partners.
Here are five recent examples of this outstanding commitment to entrepreneurship and public/private partnerships in recent years on the part of the city.
2007. Label Autopartage
In February 2007 Paris created a “car sharing label” which specifies in ten carefully drawn parts the essential conditions that carshare operators needed to meet in order to operate within the city. Today five operators, all in the private sector, are authorized to provide transport services in the city under the Label: Mobizen, Avis On Demand, ConnectbyHertz, Carbox, et Keylib’
2007. Vélib’ Public Bicycle Project:
The city of Paris worked from the beginning in close coordination with the French service group JCDecaux. After close to two years of careful monitoring and planning, service was established in July 2007 with a target of 20,000 bicycles and 1401 stations, at the time by an order of magnitude of the largest shared bicycle project in the world. Today Vélib’ ranks third after two Chinese cities, while having the highest market participation rate: one public bicycle per 100 inhabitants. JCDecaux serves as operator and system manager, working under the watchful eye of a joint working/monitoring group headed by the city of Paris.
in December 2011the Autolib project was announced and initiated, the goal being to deploy a targeted 3000 small electric cars to provide shared car service in the city of Paris. Generally based on the idea of building on the successful Vélib’ experience with one more alternative mobility option, the project was conceived and implemented by the French Bolloré industrial group, as the result of a collaboration with the Italian automotive firm Pininfarina. By January 2014, Autolib‘ had deployed 2012 Bluecars, 857 stations and centers with a total of 4358 parking and charging spots in and around Paris.
2013: Innovative Taxi services
The city of Paris is de facto working with promoters of Internet-based innovative taxi services, not so much by taking an active role but rather by ensuring that the incoming service providers correspond with the conditions set out for limousine services (VTC, véhicules de tourisme avec chauffeur). In many cities around the world the authorities are taking negative attitudes toward these untraditional services. But that is not the case with the city of Paris. Companies such as Uber and LeCab are steadily expanding services, with new providers studying the market closely. The main traditional private taxi groups, Taxi Bleu and G7 operate in fact under the jurisdiction of the Prefecture of Police, and are increasing their use of technology and smart phones in order to meet these challenges.
2014: ParISgreen Public/Platform Project
Set up on the initiative of the City of Paris to help achieve the goals of the Climate Action Plan, the Paris Climate Agency has 85 members and partners. It is a key driving force for energy transition, seeking to involve the entire region and assisting with operational projects, particularly the energy retrofit of buildings. By promoting dialogue and debate around these major issues, the APC also helps create a common knowledge base and initiatives to support urban transformation. It brings public and private stakeholders together in an alliance that aims to achieve energy transition in the city and to combat climate change.
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton