The PoC aims to develop a prototype for an optimal route guidance system that improves traffic conditions in urban areas. Urban traffic management at large-scale is very challenging but may lead to significant travel time savings by better-distributing drivers among the network. Existing navigation apps or routing systems provide the shortest-path in time to users resulting in the network user equilibrium. However, traffic engineers know that total travel times may be reduced by 10 to 30% if user routes comply with the system optimum. There is no actual traffic management system that can achieve such a goal because of computational (determining the optimal route for all current users in NP-hard), privacy (optimality requires that all users share their destination with a centralized controller) and compliance issues (users may not follow routing instructions). The optimal route guidance system we have designed within the MAGnUM project can quickly solve the two first issues. A centralized controller produces real-time avoidance maps, i.e., the definition of how many users should avoid each subsection of the road network to alleviate congestion in this area. Such maps are derived by monitoring of overall traffic conditions. Each user transforms this information into individual route guidance through its navigation system. This privacy is guaranteed by design as the users share no information with the controller but only take benefit from avoidance maps. The PoC will not only develop the prototype but also implement the system in the field to run experiments over three months. The experiments aim to (i) test the proper system functioning, (ii) derive optimal controller settings in particular concerning the network partitioning, and (iii) investigate users’ reactions to the guidance and determine the natural compliance rate. All the studies will permit us to assess the potential of the full system better and prepare the next steps before introduction to the market.
Moving towards sustainable mobility will require improved understanding of the gendering processes across cycling mobility as the bicycle is a vector of sustainable lifestyles but gender norms still restrict its development. Research on gender and mobility neglects the sensitive materiality through which gender is constructed, and aesthetical approach of mobility infrastructure takes little interest so far in gender. To investigate how gender intersects with aesthetics in the ongoing formation of bicycling practices, equipment and infrastructure will lead to a better understanding of the potential of gender dynamics as an agent of change in creating more sustainable cities. The aesthetical experience of the bicycle has a key role in the continuous infrastructuring processes of bicycling practices, equipment and infrastructure. My main hypothesis is that the aesthetical experience also creates a tension with the dominant norms of feminity/masculinity, impacting the ongoing gender formation and deconstruction. The deconstruction of these unequal political categories constitutes an important step towards the development of more systemically sustainable cities. Focusing on French and Swiss cities at different stages in the implementation of their cycling policies, the research will develop an original interdisciplinary, comparative and multi-scale approach that deploys the concept of social imaginary to explore the spatial (micro)practices in relation to cycling materialities and ambiances, embodied experiences, meanings and representations, drawing on object-based, visual and mobile methodologies. It will cast light on affective and sensible resonances between infrastructure, environment, equipment and gendered bodies. In the longer term, to investigate the aesthetical dimension of mobility participates in the effort in research to overcome the curiously immaterial and disembodied conceptions of sustainability.
‘Infrastructural Challenges in Smaller African Cities...’ is an innovative research project into water and digital infrastructures in smaller cities in sub-Saharan Africa. It examines the growing adoption of digital technologies in water infrastructure, an emerging phenomenon across urban Africa that remains under-investigated. It focuses on the dynamic and vibrant context of smaller cities in sub-Saharan Africa, which are experiencing accelerated urban growth but continue to be neglected in urban and infrastructure academic research. Examining water and digital infrastructures in two smaller Lusophone cities in Africa – Nampula, Mozambique and Bissau, Guinea-Bissau – will establish new, in-depth understandings of the infrastructural challenges, models and solutions emerging in smaller cities. In this way, this research will contribute to broader theorisations of infrastructure and African cities by bringing into these debates the experiences of a diversity of cities. This project will also shed light on the emerging social, political and material implications of the growing adoption of digital water technologies, and on the modes of urbanity specific to smaller cities. It will produce findings relevant to policy debates and Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 11. The research will adopt an innovative mix of qualitative methods, including mobile methods and ‘water biographies’. Novel user engagement and dissemination strategies will facilitate the engagement of different academic and non-academic audiences. Supervision by a world expert with networks across the Francophone and Anglophone academic worlds (Professor Sylvy Jaglin at LATTS), the opportunity to work in the Francophone research context, and an institutional visit to a research centre in Portugal (the Centre for Social Studies in Coimbra) will maximise this project’s ambition to strengthen links and shape conversations on urban research across literatures and scholarly networks.
On the framework of the energy transition in Europe, new technologies are under research, development and implementation. One of the targets of the European Commission is by 2030 to achieve a 32% of energy capacity based on renewable sources . Offshore wind energy is one of the renewable energy sources contemplated in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) as part of the actions for research and innovation. New potential areas with more intense and stable wind conditions and minimized visual impact on the coastline have been identified (deep waters of >60 m depth). This motivates the idea of implementing floating wind turbines as an alternative to reach deep water locations with a great potential as a step further in the offshore wind industry. One of the main challenges for this technology is the cost associated with the construction of the platforms for the wind turbines and the mooring systems to anchor the turbines in deep water. One of the solutions to optimize offshore floating wind farms costs is sharing the anchors connected to the mooring systems that secure the wind turbines when subjected to the ocean environmental laods. The research proposed here "Shared anchors for floating wind turbines- ShareWind", aims to provide design guidelines and evaluate the loading capacity of shared anchors installed in clayey seabed profiles as most of the research on this topic has been adressed in sands. As part of ShareWind, the applicant will (i) develop physical models of shared anchors to be tested at theUniv.Eiffel (France) geotechnical centrifuge, (ii) perform numerical simulations and parametric studies to provide design guidelines and failure envelopes of anchors subjected to multidirectional cyclic loading. The results of ShareWind will be integrated in design frameworks to predict the loading capacity and displacements of shared anchors with impacts in their long-term performance and in the optimization of costs of floating wind farms.
Bio-based construction materials are air-fiber systems, such as wood, hemp, cellulose, flax, etc., possibly coated with a mineral paste. They represent a promising solution for carbon emission reduction, due to their low production cost and their partial or full recyclability. Moreover, they bring more comfort to the occupants thanks to their moisture-buffering capacity, and they require less energy for heating or cooling. These qualities are obtained through exchanges between water vapor and “bound water”, i.e., water absorbed in the solid structure, combined with heat transfers. Consequently, understanding and predicting water and heat (hygrothermal) transfers in such materials is essential to selecting them appropriately, adjusting their conditions of use, and designing innovative materials. However, the current analysis of their performance is generally based on limited evaluations at a global scale or via macroscopic models lacking physical information. My idea is instead to open the black box and start from the fiber scale, to explicitly describe the internal physical processes at this scale, including sorption dynamics, bound water diffusion, fiber configuration, etc., and then to progressively complete and extend this approach to full-scale materials. This can be used to build for the first time a generic description, understanding, and modelling, of hygrothermal phenomena in bio-based construction materials. This physical description will be supported and enriched by several experimental innovations. Notably, internal measurements of the spatial distribution of moisture content and temperature in time will be obtained from non-invasive time-resolved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can be used to validate the models and determine diffusion properties in an unequivocal way. Finally, I will develop an open-source software predicting hygrothermal characteristics and performance based on material characteristics and history of ambient conditions.