Intervention of Jean-Yves Durance on the CEO FORUM of UITP
The AEMC was founded about 10 years ago because Chambers of Commerce of metropolitan areas establish that the European institutions only talk with nations and regions but not with metropolitan areas, and this in a world where more than 50 % of the population lives in urban areas and where we expect that in 20 years, 70 to 75% of the population on earth will live in metropolitan areas.
Moreover, the metropolitan areas are the engine of the development not only of a country but also of the regions of that country.
As AEMC, we hope to change the vision, European institutions have about the urban and metropolitan development and we also hope to integrate the metropolitan areas as such in European policies.
At the same time urban areas are sometimes fragile because they are complex and present new problems. So is mobility one of the major concerns of every metropolitan area.
I would like to address five points about the relation between chambers of commerce, mobility and metropolitan areas.
- Representation and decision power of the business community.
The first one is the representation of the economic world in the decision making about mobility.
In Paris, the chamber of commerce, representing the business community, has 2 or 3 positions in the whole decision process about mobility. The CCI is a board member of “Ile de France Mobilité”. But 51% of the operational expenses are financed by the economic world, while they have 1 seat on 30, 29 being local elected people. The economic power has no power at all to influence a decision, that is token by majority rule. Her role is restricted to the making of statements, listening and gathering information. The economic world has no other option to being heard than lobbying. Entities as “Ile- de-France Mobilité” should be transformed to allow the economic power to take really part in the decision making. We are pleading vis-à-vis the Paris R’gion, the French government and EU to listen more to the economic world, and giving the economic representatives more opportunities to participate in the decisions on mobility.
The chamber is also member strategic committee of the “Sociéte du Grand Paris”, but this is just an advisory committee and not a board.
And finally, the Chamber is participating in the public debate.
The Paris Chamber has a special team, working on mobility, transportation and territorial planning, that gives a contribution on a voluntary base. This is good, but not enough.
- Integrating urban planning, economic activity and mobility.
My second point is the necessity of integrating the urban policy, which includes residential areas and employment areas, so that urban policy is based on a mixed position of economic activities and housing, all linked to the transport policy. The more business activities and residential area are split, the more you need public transportation, or, if the public offer is insufficient, private transportation must fill the gap, what means congestion, hyper-densification and a loss of time. A better integration of activities and housing is vital and this is a collective duty of the public and private sector. Space and time are a common asset we have to manage together.
- Centre- periphery versus network of centers.
The evolution of centers is another important point. Metropolitan areas have been aggregations of a large city and smaller peripheric cities all around. In a metropolitan area some centers are disappearing, others are changing their position and new centers are blossoming. Certainly in the case of Paris, the development of the “Métro du Grand Paris”, around some of the stations new centers are created. We have to consider the network of centers and the mobility in this new configuration.
- Mass transportation and individual transportation: a shift?
Does public transportations means mass transportation? It is still so to a large extend, but not completely. In our digital world, driverless electric taxis could probably transform in the next 10 or 15 years a lot in urban mobility. We can have small collective vans or individual taxis but managed in another way, to become a part of the system of public transportation. Also the development of the shared bike is an example. Three new companies with no obligation to be in a specific station, make that bikes are now omnipresent in the streets. How can we integrate in a common vision this type of development of individual transportations. All our city centers have fought during the past years against the car? Will it be still the case in 10 or 15 years with the new technologies? I do not want t answer the question but I think it has to in the center of our visions on mobility.
5 Mobility and Tourism
My last point is about tourism. Tourism represents about 12 % of the GDP of the Paris Region, but I have never seen the SNCF or RATP or the Ile-de-France Mobilité, having a special team or an specific action for this type of users of the public transportation. The consequence is a massive presence of buses in the public space. We think the development of tourism should integrate a common reflection about the transport offer to this group of users.