Building the urban future and Transit Oriented Development / rail and other modes, connecting with urban and regional development is an international scientific conference to be held in Paris – Marne-la-Vallée, on 16-17 April 2012.
As of 2007, more than half the world's population is considered to be living in cities. Questions related to urban life and development are becoming increasingly pressing, with central, peri-urban and regional areas each giving rise to specific issues. In the long-term perspective, consumption – of resources, of space and of energy – is a central concern. If one accepts that building cities means establishing distances between urban functions (Offner), then the city-transportation dyad is fundamental. The challenge we are facing today is that the city we have inherited from the past was produced mainly by and for automobiles.
Approaching the future of the city/transport dyad involves thinking along three lines, in terms of (1) the city itself, (2) transportation and (3) the two together. In this context, Transit Oriented Development (TOD) stands out as a dominant approach and doctrine, even if its effectiveness in concrete terms remains open to question. The impetus for this conference can also be related to a Franco-German research-action program called Bahn.Ville, focused on the development of urban planning approaches oriented toward rail and intermodality (Bahn.Ville2.fr, Bahn-ville2.de).