Congested © Joseph Chan 2019 Unsplash

How do you eliminate traffic jams on the freeway?

— To ease traffic congestion, the Federal Council wants to widen the Nyon-Geneva freeway to three lanes. For Alexis Gumy, postdoctoral fellow at the Urban Sociology Laboratory at EPFL, "the risk is great of shifting traffic jams onto the access roads. Should we widen them too? Because the freeway is only one link in the transport system." Instead, the researcher recommends developing carpooling or other car-sharing solutions and the public transport network.

Building aerial view © Chuttersnap 2018 Unsplash

Orderly visions of urban planning no longer apply

— Luca Pattaroni, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at LaSUR, EPFL, writes a column in Le Courrier about the difficult balance to be found in the evolution of a city. We mustn't forget that cities are first and foremost inhabited by people who are sometimes fragile or excessive. Not everything is smooth.

Night highway © Kimi Lee 2019 Unsplash

A new freeway lane: a bad idea?

— "Research shows that the assumption that a new freeway lane will reduce congestion is an oversimplification. What's more, there's a high risk of shifting congestion to the access roads," explains Alexis Gumy, researcher at EPFL's Urban Sociology Laboratory.

Hammer © Wesley Tingey 2023 Unsplash

The condemned car

— Mock trials were held at the Palais de Rumine on Friday and Saturday. The car found itself in the dock and was finally sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for murder and crimes against urbanity and the environment. The prosecution was advised by Vincent Kaufmann, professor at the Laboratory of Urban Sociology.

Smog and heavy traffic at night © Jacek Dylag 2020 Unsplash

New track, new traffic jams?

— Does creating a new lane on the freeway reduce traffic jams? This is the debate that divides lobbyists, politicians and scientists. For Alexis Gumy, postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratoire de Sociologie Urbaine, the hypothesis is too simplistic. "Fighting traffic jams means rethinking regional planning.

People sitting on a bench © Astonaud23 2023 Unsplash

Public benches, a particular feature of the Swiss landscape

— Renate Albrecher, scientific assistant at EPFL's Urban Sociology Laboratory and founder of the Bankkultur association, is quoted in an article about public benches. They allow you to admire the view, meet new people and "recharge" your batteries. But far from being a mere piece of furniture in the landscape, the bench is also a political object and should be included in mobility plans.

Roadtrip © Hannes Egler 2018 Unsplash

Cross-border commuters mainly travel by car

— In 2020, 77% of commuters from neighboring France were travelling to work in Geneva by car. This is due to the fact that public transport services are still too sparse, according to an article in "24 Heures" devoted to cross-border mobility. Vincent Kaufmann, Director of the Laboratory of Urban Sociology, is quoted in the article.

In the morning traffic © Dan Gold 2016 Unsplash

Cross-border mobility: the car still comes first

— In 2020, 78% of commuters from France used the car. Cross-border commuters to Vaud are more likely to use public transport than those to Geneva. According to Vincent Kaufmann, an EPFL sociologist specializing in mobility, public transport is still too sparse in some regions. One solution would be to create express buses.

Young woman driver © Jan Baborák 2020 Unsplash

The Broyards prefer the car

— A survey shows that residents of the Broye region of Fribourg and Vaud use the car more than public transport or bicycles to get to work or to get around. This finding is the result of a survey carried out by Mobil'homme, a spin-off of EPFL's Urban Sociology Laboratory, specializing in urban issues and mobility, on behalf of the Communauté régionale de la Broye. These figures will help guide future actions to promote sustainable mobility.

A Regional train leaving a station © Christian Meyer-Hentschel 2022 Unsplash

A schedule that sets the distance

— With the new SBB timetables, French-speaking towns are drifting away from German-speaking Switzerland and from each other. For Vincent Kaufmann, head of the Laboratory of Urban Sociology, this is the result of an "every man for himself" attitude and a belated awakening in French-speaking Switzerland with regard to the railways.

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