The 2013/07/09 at 09:12
“The place where tomorrow’s city is in today’s minds.” This slogan summing up Grenoble Presqu’île (literally, “peninsula”), the famous heart of the city that is a source of scientific and technological innovations, will soon apply to the whole of the Grenoble urban area. On the occasion of the 16th edition of Forum 4i (Innovation Industry Investment International) taking place on 23 May in Grenoble, the municipality announced its vast projects to make the city a reference name in smart mobility and urban features firmly anchored in the 21st century.
From 2014 onwards, some 70 vehicles will be made available on a self-service basis thanks to a partnership between the city of Grenoble, the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota, the Metro (Grenoble-Alpes Métropole Urban Community), EDF and the CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives or the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) that is extremely involved in the innovative projects of the Rhônes-Alpes region. Aimed at covering short distances, these three-wheeled vehicles measuring 2.3 metres long and 1.5 metres high will be completely silent and will run on electricity. Grenoble’s inhabitants will simply need to hold a “Citélib” card in order to use the “i-Road”. “The theme of mobility and the new usages to be deployed given environmental restrictions is a particularly important one for the future. This is why we have wholeheartedly associated ourselves with these initiatives and support all innovative SMEs involved in elaborating solutions for the future,” emphasises Jean Vaylet, President of the CCI of Grenoble.
The aim is also to develop use of the bicycle. Bicycle transport is no mere fashion phenomenon for Grenoble residents who already have access to 382 kilometres in cycle tracks all over the city and the urban area. Today, cycling represents 4 % of all transport undertaken in the area. The tramway also features on the list of solutions for future mobility. In 1987, Grenoble was France’s second city after Nantes to reintroduce this mode of urban transport. In 2012, 77 million people were transported on the SMTC (Syndicat Mixte des Transports en Commun or Mixed Syndicate of Public Transport) network.
With a new line being commissioned in 2014 and the extension of existing lines to the scientific Presqu’Île zone, a 250-hectare space that is one of the most significant spots for public-private investments in France, the Grenoble tramway will cover more than 45 kilometres with its 5 lines by 2015.
By 2017, Grenoble train station will become a new multimodal hub where a growing number of passengers will be welcomed with updated services, facilitating their transfers between the different types of transport available in the train station, thus turning it into a modern urban exchange centre. A project for a cable car to link Grenoble to the Vercors mountain range is also being studied. The cable car is also to cross the valley and offer a stop at the scientific Presqu’Île. “The long-term goal is for us to take on the most relevant levers to develop the territory in an efficient and responsible manner,” specifies Jean Vaylet.
Still with the aim of developing smart services, the city will be launching, from summer 2013 onwards, its MonGroom.fr multiservice platform. The idea is to make everyday life easier for Grenoble’s inhabitants and professionals. The project aims to set up a dematerialised platform of urban services, transport and territorial information. Buying and validating one’s train ticket, paying for one’s parking ticket, going to the theatre or the museum are examples of activities that will be facilitated by the platform. These will be operations that can be taken care of on one’s computer or smartphone. The project complements the already existing Station Mobile offer, a mobility service platform allowing users to have a global vision of the different ways for getting about the Grenoble urban area.
The city’s updating measures have already borne fruit. In 2012, Grenoble’s EcoCité was labelled alongside twelve other EcoCités. This project, initially followed via the Grenoble Presqu’île, sets out to become a veritable laboratory for the sustainable city by studying the construction and renovation of residences, shops, offices, energy-control methods, and ways to develop innovative means of transport. The city’s social and environmental policies have been publicly recognised twice previously, in 2009 and 2011, by their winning of the Ruban du Développement Durable (Sustainable Development Ribbon) awarded by a French association of mayors representing major French cities and the Comité 21, a committee that supports decision-makers in furthering this type of development.