Completed research

Swiss in motion : analyzing and visualizing daily rythms

Over the past 50 years, technological developments in the field of transports and telecommunications have contributed to the reconfiguration of mobility practices which have become more complex involving daily rhythms acceleration. An abundant critical literature has described the harmful effects of acceleration on: individuals, social structures, equalities, modal practices and territories. Beyond an acceleration considered as linear, recent research developed on the case of Switzerland suggests that daily rhythms present a significant diversity in terms of spatial-temporal configuration and activity density. As the literature shows, the analysis of daily rhythms is becoming a central issue. The project aims to develop new analytical devices at the meeting between social and computational sciences to improve daily rhythms understanding.

Period : 2020 – 2021

Project director / coordinator : Guillaume Drevon

LASUR team : Vincent Kaufmann

Partnership : Digital Humanities Laboratory (EPFL), Institute of Geography and Sustainability (UNIL)

Funding / mandator : CROSS – Collaborative Research on Science and Society

Exploratory Research on Digital Citizenship

One of the objectives of the project is to identify and map digital participation devices that promote citizens’ contribution to urban projects at European level by putting their functionalities (proposals, opinions, polls, voting, etc.) into perspective.

The scientific challenge is to understand the effect of digital participation on local democratic mechanisms (origin of the initiative and perimeter of citizenship relative to the project’s influence), as well as to propose a typology of the approaches observed.

Period : 2020 – 2021

Project director / coordinator : Armelle Hausser, Benjamin Chevallier

LASUR team : Vincent Kaufmann, Guillaume Drevon

Funding / mandator : Orange Labs

The potential of tactical urbanism to leverage urban sustainability transitions: Analysing temporary walking & cycling infrastructure related to Covid-19

The decarbonisation of urban mobility patterns has proven difficult, since carbon-intensive modes of mobility have shown to be anchored in habits, the spatial organisation of cities, and infrastructural arrangements. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, mobility patterns around the globe were heavily disrupted. Furthermore, in response to the social distancing measures necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19, cities around the world have implemented ephemeral infrastructural projects inspired by tactical urbanism with the intention to favour cycling and walking.

The aim of this project is to analyse the potential of tactical urbanism-inspired measures deployed in a context of crisis and disruption to leverage transitions onto low-carbon urban mobilities, by opening up new perspectives for urban sustainability transitions.

This project contributes to a better understanding of how tactical urbanism can leverage and accompany urban mobility transitions in the context of a rapidly changing environment that will increasingly confront urban settlements with situations of crisis. By doing so, this project responds to the need to identify or develop approaches that can bridge between spatial and temporal horizons and dynamics. It analyses the potential of an approach to intervene in urban mobility practices that is based on ephemeral and small-scale interventions (tactical urbanism) to prefigure longer-term and larger-scale urban sustainability transitions. 

Period : 2020 – 2021

Project director / coordinator : Mariana Fernandes, Franziska Meinherz (HERUS, EPFL)

Partnership : Laboratory on Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems (EPFL)

Funding / mandator : ENAC EPFL

Citizen Bench: understanding seating-needs for active mobility

The public bench represents a close practical and emotional link between the city and its citizens. It is a key element for active and public modes of transport and the well-being of citizens. This project enables citizens to describe and share their needs of public seating accommodation on the web-application, developed specifically for this projet. It empowers citizens and creates spatial awareness, connects stakeholders and promotes exchange; it allows involvement in the ideation process and promotes emotional ownership and advocacy. The city gets a feedback of citizen’s needs, preferences and restrictions concerning the form, material, placement, orientation of benches and their use. It can adapt its seating-offer to the different existing needs and therefore increase the quality of public space. The tool and method will be tested in Munich and serve for the development of an urban seating policy. 

Period : 2021

Project director / coordinator : Renate Albrecher

Partnership : Munich City, Bankkultur association, IHS – Institut for Advanced Studies Vienna, Milano City

Funding / mandator : EIT Urban Mobility

Prospective analysis of mode choice behaviour based on the cross-border population of Grand Genève and the populations of the Cantons of Vaud and Bern

The research aims to provide a detailed account of the logic that underlies the population’s modal practices and their evolution through the development of a new typology.

Period : 2017 – 2021

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Juliana González, Guillaume Drevon, Eloi Bernier, Marc Antoine Messer

Funding / mandator : République et Canton de Genève, Ville de Genève, Ville de Carouge, Ville de Lancy, Ville d’Onex, Ville de Meyrin, Ville de Vernier, Unireso, Lémanis, Canton de Vaud, Ville de Lausanne, Ville de Morges, Ville de Nyon, Nyon Région, Ville d’Yverdon, AggloY, TL, Ville de Bienne, Agglomération de Bienne, BLS, Union des Transports Publics, LITRA

Grassroots Urbanism: Community involvement and participation towards the making of the city. Innovative research processes in India and Canada

This project addresses the issue of urban equity through a resident-based approach and their right to the city. It aims to develop a community methodology that can help empower populations marginalized during urban planning processes. More specifically, the project focuses on the urbanization challenges small urban centers on the periphery of Mumbai face, as well as the social and spatial issues confronting Quebec’s Aboriginal communities.

Period : 2019 –  2021

Project director / coordinator : Yves Pedrazzini, Rohan Shivkumar, Hussain Indorewala (Mumbai University), Janie Houle (University of Québec)

Partnership : Mumbai University, University of Québec

Funding / mandator : CODEV Seed Money

Hybrid cities: informal resistance and architecture to confront the violence of urbanization in India, China and Venezuela

As a science and ideology, contemporary urban planning brings with it the violence of urbanization. Using urban theories and interdisciplinary research approaches such as ethnography, sociology, architecture and urban planning, this project aims to analyze how popular groups occupy architectural, urban and geographical space and the re-urbanization of land and buildings thus produced in Chennai, Caracas and Guangzhou.

Period : 2016 – 2020

Project director / coordinator : Yves Pedrazzini, Florence Graezer-Bideau (CDH)

LASUR team : Salomé Houllier, Caroline Iorio

Funding / mandator : FNRS Division 1

Prospective research for the creation of a “Civic Tech Swiss Observatory”

The research aims to study the possibilities in terms of developing a “Swiss observatory for local digital Democracy”. To do this, it takes stock of practices and expectations with the stakeholders concerned.

Period : 2019

Project director / coordinator : Armelle Hausser, Jean-François Lucas

LASUR team : Vincent Kaufmann

Funding / mandator : République et Canton de Genève

Social housing residents’ relationship to their homes

This project is part of a vast survey designed to create innovative social housing that is better adapted to changing lifestyles. It questions social housing residents’ relationship to their dwellings in terms of aspirations, home ownership and the use of common spaces in Geneva. The project consists of a survey sample of a 700 people and a qualitative survey of eight exemplary transactions.

Période : 2018 – 2019

Chef de projet / coordinateur : Luca Pattaroni

Équipe LASUR : Garance Clément, Guillaume Drevon, Marc Antoine Messer (Mobil’homme), Maude Reitz

Partenaires : Mobil’homme, Enquête, HEPIA, REME

Financement / mandat : Association pour la création de logements sociaux innovants

Swiss topicity

Using the example of the Montreux Jazz Festival, this project explores ways of analyzing and representing the intensity of events and the spatial/social material reconfiguration of the urban fabric during major events. Using EPFL’s Time Machine Prototype computing and visualization capacities, it focuses notably on the development of a tool to dynamically represent mobility potential.

Période : 2018 – 2019

Chef de projet / coordinateur : Luca Pattaroni

Équipe LASUR : Thibault Romany

Partenaires : Digital Humanities Lab, Montreux Jazz Festival

Financement / mandat : Habitat Research Center Seed Money

Renewing the city from the inside

As part of a project initiated by HEAD’s Department of Interior Architecture, this research focuses on the impact of changing lifestyles on needs in terms of housing and common spaces in order to infuse innovation during renovation of the built environment. Interdisciplinary work will give rise to original ideas for adapting the built environment to new lifestyles.

Période : 2018 – 2019

Chef de projet / coordinateur : Luca Pattaroni, Line Fontana (HEAD)

Équipe LASUR : Garance Clément, Guillaume Drevon

Partenaires : Département d’Architecture d’Intérieur, HEAD

Financement / mandat : HES-SO

What future mobility with the autonomous car?

From the standpoint of urban dynamics and interurban exchanges, the autonomous car could play an important role, either in competition or in synergy with conventional modes of transport. The goal of this research is to identify mobility demand scenarios, including autonomous vehicles as a transport mode.

Period : 2016 – 2019

Project director / coordinator : Guillaume Drevon

LASUR team : Vincent Kaufmann, Élodie Dupuit (ENTPE)

Funding / mandator : Renault

Urban planning and the heterogeneous city. A study of the technical, social and political controversies around the 2014-2034 Mumbai Development Plan

Situated at the crossroad of sociology, architecture, planning and political economy, this collaborative research between the LaSUR and the Center for Urban Policy and Governance investigates the complex and contentious process of the production of Mumbai’s Development Plan (DP) 2014-2034 and the controversies it has induced. It allows to tackle the politicization of planning in a context of planetary urbanization.

Period : 2017 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni

LASUR team : Tobias Baitsch, Salomé Houllier

Partnership : Center for Urban Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai)

Funding / mandator : SERI-CODEV (Flash projet)

Seniors: actors of the public space and full members of the society

Funded by the Leenaards Foundation, the “Seniors: actors of the public space and full-fledged citizens” research initiative was made possible through the participation of approximately 30 senior participants from the Canton of Vaud. The goal was to examine, discuss and evaluate their activities and how they used their skills in their urban environment over a period of several months. Six discussion workshops with six senior participants per workshop were held several times. Based on the data collected, we were able to determine how each took their place in the public space.

Period : 2018

Project director / coordinator : Kaj Noschis (Comportements)

LASUR team : Yves Pedrazzini, Dominic Villeneuve

Partnership : Comportements, Université des Seniors

Funding / mandator : Fondation Leenaards

Frequent Walkers: a comprehensive investigation of an emerging urban phenomenon

Walking is gaining interest for reasons related to public health, the environment, climate change and transport policies. Yet, the big walker phenomenon (individuals who spontaneously travel great distances on a daily basis) has never been analyzed. From a social standpoint, this population can be considered pioneering. It is therefore strategically important for actors in the public sector to understand who these people are, how and where they walk, and why.

Period : 2014 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Derek Christie, Michael Flamm (MICODA)

Funding / mandator : FNRS Division 1

Image of transport and the mobility of the future among teenagers in Europe

This research aims to analyze the image of transport modes among 14-17-year olds in Europe and to identify their vision of the mobility of the future. The research is based on a representative sample of young people in Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain and Italy. It used social networks to disseminate the questionnaire and collect data from these networks.

Period : 2016 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Guillaume Drevon

LASUR team : Emmanuel Ravalet, Vincent Kaufmann

Partnership : Social Media Lab EPFL

Funding / mandator : Toyota

An operational indicator to measure motility

The goal of this research is to develop an operational index of motility that can be measured in different territories, and to test its robustness. More specifically, it will enable us to measure the performance of a transport and communication system based on the population’s motility (namely the level, diversity and distribution).

Period : 2015 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Emmanuel Ravalet, Élodie Dupuit

Funding / mandator : Forum Vies Mobiles

Smart living lab: a social design approach

This research stems from the smart living lab’s desire to reinforce its technical development with a social design approach. The study provides social support for the design and layout of the smart living lab project, which is being jointly conducted by EPFL, UNIFR and HEIA-FR.

Period : 2015 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann, Luca Pattaroni

LASUR team : Derek Christie, Dominic Villeneuve, Marc Antoine Messer, Thierry Maeder

Partnership : Université de Fribourg

Funding / mandator : Smart Living Lab – EPFL Fribourg

Lifestyles, residential location and household energy consumption

This research aims to analyze the links between lifestyles, residential location and household’s energy consumption with regard to mobility and housing. The data is based on a survey of a panel of 2,000 households considered representative of the French population. This project is part of the research focus on household behavior within ECLEER’s Energy Demand and Consumption Dynamics division.

Period : 2014 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann, Emmanuel Ravalet

LASUR team : Lorris Tabonne

Partnership : EDF R+D

Funding / mandator : EDF ECLEER

Lifestyles and inequalities at the border: a case study from the Basel urban area

The research investigates the effects of the presence of a national border on the daily lives and economic conditions of individuals and households. Following major structural changes, the function and role of borders in Western Europe have evolved considerably towards greater openness. This increased permeability of borders offers numerous opportunities for many actors. Crossing the border allows individuals to use resources and opportunities that are specific to border conurbations, but also requires adequate access, skills and specific projects.

Period : 2014 – 2018

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Yann Dubois

Funding / mandator : FNRS Division 1

CATS – City Alternative Transport System

This European research program aims to develop, test it and assess an autonomous public transport system’s acceptability among users and potential users.

Period : 2010 – 2017

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Stéphanie Vincent, Sonia Lavadinho, Derek Christie

Partnership : Consortium du programme CATS

Funding / mandator : Union Européenne

Living environments, lifestyles and leisure travel

The research aims to explore the impact of living environments on daily and occasional recreational mobility (by integrating long-distance travel). More specifically, these investigations focus on possible compensatory leisure mobilities in dense urban areas, as well as quantifying polluting emissions according to the residential living environment.

Period : 2014 – 2017

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Sébastien Munafó

Funding / mandator : Forum Vies Mobiles

Understanding the factors that influence urban mobility

This research was conducted as part of the Cross program, a collaboration between UNIL and EPFL and led to the creation of a space of collaboration between three teams from different disciplines. The gathering resulted in the creation of a book entitled “Mobility in questions”, which deals with urban mobility issues.

Period : 2015 – 2017

Project director / coordinator : Michel Bierlaire, Vincent Kaufmann, Patrick Rérat (UNIL)

LASUR team : Emmanuel Ravalet, Derek Christie, Sébastien Munafo, Ander Audikana, Antonin Danalet, Stefan Binder

Partnership : UNIL

Funding / mandator : Cross UNIL-EPFL

La Ville est à Vous, a neighbourhood celebration in the 21st century

The project presents an in-depth investigation into the political and practical issues surrounding the genesis of Geneva’s La Ville à Vous initiative, a series of participative neighborhood celebrations. It analyzes the social and spatial processes of occupying and regulating the public space, as well as the event’s impact on civil society and the professionalization of major events. Ultimately, it offers an unprecedented look at the place of event policies in urban development.

Period : 2016

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni

LASUR team : Pascal Viot (iSSUE), Lucien Delley

Partnership : iSSUE

Funding / mandator : Service Agenda 21, Ville de Genève

Housing cooperatives in Canton of Vaud

This study provides a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative overview of housing cooperatives in the Canton of Vaud. It questions the transition from housing co-operatives to resident co-operatives and the role of participation in the production and management of housing more generally. Its goal is to allow us to reflect on the importance of cooperatives in urban development.

Period : 2015 – 2016

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni

LASUR team : Sarah Isler

Partnership : Service des communes et du logement du canton de Vaud

Funding / mandator : Canton de Vaud

The creative city in question: socio-spatial transformations of cultural issues in Geneva and Lisbon

This research comparatively questions changes in the relationship between art, capitalism and the territory in Geneva and Lisbon. More specifically, it analyzes the impact of creative city ideologies on countercultures and how they are incorporated into contemporary forms of urban production, and highlights the transition of cultural issues into urban issues.

Period : 2012 – 2016

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni

LASUR team : Leticia Carmo, Yves Peddrazzini, Misch Piraud, Emmanuel Ravalet

Funding / mandator : FNRS Division 1

Bois de la Bâtie Masterplan

This project involved the realization of the sociological component of the Masterplan for the renovation of the Bois de la Bâtie in Geneva. Reflection on political and cultural issues surrounding changes in how nature is used in the city.

Period : 2014 – 2015

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni

Partnership : Atelier Descombes Rampini

Funding / mandator : Ville de Genève

noLand’s man project: travellers, camps and roadsides – investigation into the practices and values of an invisible people

This research aims to describe, understand and analyze the lifestyles and living practices of “travelers” (new non-ethnic nomads) through an interdisciplinary collective work combining anthropology, architecture, photography and sociology. The topic of the research is mobile habitats, those who live in them and the “road” that is this habitat.

Period : 2012 – 2015

Project director / coordinator : Yves Pedrazzini

LASUR team : Maude Reitz, Sophie Greiller, Ferjeux van der Stigghel

Funding / mandator : Forum Vies Mobiles

JobMob II Reversible long-distance mobility in Europe

This research is an extension of JobMobilities and FamilyLives in Europe research, which focused on reversible mobility in Germany, Spain, France and Switzerland in a longitudinal perspective. The people surveyed in these four countries in 2007 were surveyed a second time, which allowed us to create a panel-type database.

Period : 2011 – 2015

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Emmanuel Ravalet, Stéphanie Vincent, Yann Dubois, Gil Viry (Université d’Edimburgh)

Partnership : Réseau de recherche JobMob

Funding / mandator : Forum Vies Mobiles

Ways of living, mode choice logics and mobility practices in Strasbourg

The research aims to analyzes the thinking behind the modal practices of inhabitants of Strasbourg. The analysis is based on data from the 1997 and 2009 Household Travel Surveys (EMD).

Period : 2014 – 2015

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Sébastien Munafo, Lorris Tabonne, Yann Dubois

Funding / mandator : ADEUS

Analysis of modal practices in the Sion agglomeration

The research aims to analyze the thinking behind modal practices in the agglomeration of Sion following the implementation of a self-service bike system and a revamped urban public transport offer.

Period : 2014 – 2015

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Emmanuel Ravalet, Virginie Baranger, Eric Zakhia

Funding / mandator : Ville de Sion, Canton du Valais

Exploring urban speed in a context of slow-oriented urbanism

The research aims to analyze the effects of a change in urban speed in terms of congestion, accessibility and social/territorial cohesion.

Period : 2014 – 2015

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann, Nikolas Geroliminis, François Golay

LASUR team : Derek Christie, Ander Audikana, Sébastien Munafó

Partnership : LUTS, LASIG

Funding / mandator : Incentive ENAC Research Program on urban dimension

Operationalizing human security for livelihood protection: analysis, monitoring and mitigation of existential threats by and for local communities

The project focused on the scientific conceptualization and shift towards the practical use of the concept of human security – individual and population-based – for the definition, early detection and mitigation of vulnerability to the negative effects of global change (syndromes) and local threats–thus the availability and stabilization of sustainable livelihood strategies. Our case studies included Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela.

Period : 2006 – 2014

Project director / coordinator : Albrecht Schnabel (DCAF Geneva)

LASUR team : Yves Pedrazzini

Funding / mandator : FNRS Division 1, DDC

Spatial fragmentation and social segregation: the public space in Bogota facing mobility challenges

The goal of the research was to analyze the relationship between urban mobility and fragmentation. To do so, we studied their impact on the public space. The research was conducted in Bogota, Colombia because major Latin American cities are facing an accelerated socio-spatial fragmentation process more so than anywhere else in the world.

Period : 2011 – 2014

Project director / coordinator : Yves Pedrazzini

LASUR team : Yafiza Zorro

Partnership : UNIANDES (Université des Andes)

Funding / mandator : FNRS Division 1

Creative mobility state of the art 

What do we know about the changes taking placing in our societies as a result of mobility? What can we draw from this past decade, and how can we help research dialogue more effectively with users and artists? This creative, experimental, multidisciplinary state of the art attempts to tackle these questions.

Period : 2012 – 2014

Project director / coordinator : Vincent Kaufmann

LASUR team : Hanja Maksim

Funding / mandator : Forum Vies Mobiles

Lifestyles survey in the Strasbourg urban area

This research, which was based on a large quantitative survey, allowed us to measure the many residential lifestyles present in the Greater Strasbourg area. In close collaboration with the Urban Planning Agency of Strasbourg, it helped create new territorial analysis tools that can take lifestyles into account in urban planning.

Period : 2012 – 2014

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni, Marie-Paule Thomas

LASUR team : Vincent Kaufmann

Partnership : Agence d’Urbanisme de Strasbourg

Funding / mandator : Agence d’Urbanisme de Strasbourg

Residential choices and lifestyles in Geneva agglomeration

This project allowed us to identify and localize the different residential lifestyles present in the Geneva-Vaud agglomeration. Combining quantitative (a sample survey of 2,400 people) and qualitative (in-depth interviews) approaches, the research reflects the dynamics of residential choices and daily practices across the agglomeration. Notably, it helps us better understand the structuring effects of the border.

Period : 2012 – 2014

Project director / coordinator : Luca Pattaroni, Marie-Paule Thomas

LASUR team Hossam Adly, Simon Galloux, Vincent Kaufmann

Funding / mandator : Chambre Genevois Immobilière, Canton de Genève