The City of Tomorrow is a subject that has been mentioned during a debate at the BIM World 2019 In Paris. Pierre Leroy, president of the French PropTech and Chloe Rayssac, vice-president, opened the debate on the impact of innovation on the territories. Réana Taheraly, Head of Innovation at Grand Paris Aménagement and François Pélegrin, Architect, were invited to discuss about the subject. 

During the fair, the word “innovation” was heard everywhere, and for a good reason. Innovation is the heart of the City of Tomorrow subject. There are numerous new technologies that are quickly settling in to become indispensable. But these technologies need to find their utility. These are the difficulties that the regional planners are confronted to. “The planner builds the city 10 to 20 years before it’s delivered” and this is why these technologies need to be quickly assimilated and integrated. To plan and build a city “requires to know how to anticipate all its new usages” explains Reana Taheraly. 

She also explains that, to arrive to this anticipation, the planners need to ask themselves 3 great questions : 

  • “How to build the City of Tomorrow starting today ?”
  • “What city are we building ? Now that the inhabitants took control, now that we are not the city of offers anymore but the city of the demands ?”
  • “What are the impacts on the job of a regional planner ?”

So many questions that are reminding us once again the complexity of the task that is to plan a city.

Because the reflexion goes further than the technical aspect of the construction : It also has to take into account the technology, the uses and the well-being of the inhabitants. 

In fact, Réana gives more details by saying that “the building is good, it is a first step. It is necessary and we do it more and more, but the regional planners thinks on a bigger scale, the scale of the neighborhood, of the city and even of the region”. 

She also indicates that today “we never dissociate the ecological transition of the digital transition.”

But even if a more ecological daily life is convincing everyone, the data use leaves the inhabitants a little bit hesitating. This technological phenomenon is nevertheless starting to be used more and more to improve our daily life. 

Réana Taheraly underlines this aspect and explains that the challenges are to “guarantee the free flow of data, the interoperability of the systems and create more trust in digital security and data protection for the citizens.

Such a changement and such a load of work can not be done alone. It necessitates various different professions, experts and innovators to build a common project. “Surround yourself with an ecosystem of innovative actors, including start-ups, with whom we have to work more” is one of the recommendation given by Réana.

See the rest of the debate here (in French)