Villavel and UrbaWalk at the heart of the DIVD Descartes 21 “ViaChamps” project

On 15 September, DIVD Descartes 21 based in the commune of Champs-sur-Marne embarked on the experimentation phase of “ViaChamps”, a project designed to test innovations in the field of sustainable mobility, in particular active transport modes, in the area between the Noisy-Champs and Noisiel stations – an area that includes Cité Descartes.

DIVD Descartes 21 is an ambitious project based in the territory of Marne-la-Vallée, which is home to 25% of France’s sustainable city research. It is one of the 23 DIVDs (industrial demonstrators for the sustainable city) across France, tasked with testing and implementing novel solutions for reducing the ecological footprint of the urban system.

With the “ViaChamps” project, DIVD Descartes 21 launches a phase of experimentation in the field of sustainable mobility. As part of the design study for a global, integrated mobility chain managed by RATP, a number of experiments are planned to improve territorial provision for active transport modes from one traffic-generating hub to another. As home to RER A station Noisy-Champs, which will ultimately accommodate a station on Line 15 South of the Grand Paris Express and the extension of line 11, Cité Descartes is uniquely placed to test new mobility solutions in terms of both technical feasibility and user behaviour. The aim is to win users over to active transport modes (walking, cycling or skating/boarding/scooter) by deploying new technology to make them easier to use, or by providing the necessary equipment.

To gain a better understanding of current mobility practices and the needs of the territory, RATP is conducting diagnostic work in partnership with Efficacity, based largely on user feedback via tools and methods developed in conjunction with Efficacity:

  • Villavel, the mobile app for cyclists to provide their feedback on cycle routes.
  • Complementing this, Efficacity will consolidate its UrbaWalk methodology (innovative diagnostic of a territory’s walkability) via its deployment in the ViaChamps environment.

From 15 September, a number of experiments are being rolled out over a two-month period, among them Villavel and UrbaWalk, and self-hire electric bikes are also being made available:

  • a mobile solar terminal for electric bikes at the international student residence,
  • a fleet of electric bikes for the use of local authority officers and employees at the town hall and the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne, in partnership with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, the Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques, and Green On.

Electric bike users will form micro-communities of beta-testers feeding information into the cyclability diagnostic by means of the Villavel mobile app. The experiment will also help to encourage a shift in transport modes and will give researchers, students and active users a better feel for the district.

Other experiments will follow in the months ahead, focusing on urban wheeled mobility (skating/boarding/scooter).

Follow the experiments on social networks and on Internet:
Twitter : @via_champs – Facebook : Viachamps – Instagram : viachamps

About DIVD Descartes 21

DIVD Descartes 21 is a project dedicated to implementing innovations in the territory of Marne-la-Vallée, home to 25% of France’s research on sustainable cities. The successful consortium in the call for projects is made up of eight pioneers in urban planning, energy innovation, mobility and the connected city: EPAMARNE, Linkcity Ile-de-France, Bouygues Energies & Services, RATP, EMBIX, Enedis, Idex and Capgemini.

The project is made up of three key themes: energy, enhanced quality of urban life, and mobility. Each theme is the subject of studies conducted by the industrial consortium in collaboration with the town of Champs-sur-Marne and the Paris-Vallée de la Marne Urban Community.

Download the press release