"The organisation of urban mobility could not be successful if housing, transportation and employment were not taken into consideration"
1. What is your vision of the role of housing in the organisation of the urban mobility of tomorrow?
"It is impossible to think about the organisation of the urban mobility of an area without taking into account the three following “fundamental principles”: transportation, housing and employment. It is mandatory to look for good balance between these elements in order to plan the development of the activity of an urban area. The sequence is also important, so that the development can be as efficient as possible: developing a transportation network comes first, and then comes housing and finally employment. It is interesting to observe that the Territorial Coherence Schemes (referred to as SCOT) include these elements, even if they still lack of some influence on Local Urbanism Plans (PLU) and Inter-municipal Local Urbanism Plans (PLUI). Besides, the appearance of the PLUIs is good news because it shows that the issues tend to be addressed on a much relevant scale allowing to better take into account the different needs.
From the customer side, the key issue is the “disposable income”. Nowadays, irreducible expenses (housing & transportation) indeed represent more than 65% of household budgets. Our goal is to optimize the “disposable income” by improving the cost of use of housing, its localization and the services it offers. To do so, housing - even if non mobile - will progressively become consumption good like any other and we will try to “financialize” its use to make it more accessible, in a similar way as what has been done with cars in the 90’s. Our idea here is to go from an approach based on the notion of property to an approach focused on the use of housing. We may even go further by transforming the concept of housing: from a cost centre to a profit centre (thanks to self-supply, parking slot subleasing…).
To sum up I would say that from our point of view, the organisation of urban mobility could not be successful if housing, transportation and employment were not taken into consideration. Moreover, housing will play an essential and decisive role in the organisation of the urban mobility of tomorrow."
2. Do you think that in the future the (electric) vehicle will be integrated in the housing? What role would it play?
"My answer is yes, of course. But the change is not really the fact that the vehicle will be electric, it is more about the fact that this vehicle will help to improve the “disposable income” of our customers thanks to a better technical and economic integration into the housing.
To sell the electric vehicle by itself, highlighting the issues of property of the vehicle doesn’t necessarily make sense. To my mind, we have to promote it as a key element of economic gains and of cost of use reduction. We don’t have oil sources in our garden but we definitely can produce electricity on our roofs… therefore the electric car is necessarily part of our answer."
3. What are the necessary conditions to develop this integrated offer? How will this market grow?
"We want to succeed in providing customers a monthly overall cost (easily comparable with the household income) which would include the costs of the vehicle and its installation, the costs of the energy consumption and of rent and taxes. Such a presentation of the overall cost will convince our customers that they can live near their work (or wherever they wish) with economic conditions that would be clear, controlled and predictable."