Toulouse: some experiments prove inconclusive
La Dépêche | Elsa Sidawy | 09.22.11
For the past few years, Toulouse has been churning out experiments thanks to the driving force of Alexandre Marciel, the deputy mayor in charge of lighting and urban logistics. Often cited as a model for cities lacking inspiration, it remains to be shown that these experiments can become long-lasting innovations that will actually be used by inhabitants. The newspaper La Dépêche du Midi has sorted things out.
The “zapette propreté” (“cleanliness remote control”) seems to have won over the 360 city employees that use it to locate damage to the public highway and send the appropriate department real-time photos. Intervention time has thus been reduced and 12,000 reports have been made since March.
Another measure of the “Défi Propreté” (“Cleanliness Challenge”), launched by the city last autumn, is the use of the cleaning product Degom’, resulting from green chemistry and therefore harmless to the environment, which removes chewing gums from public highways. The first manual tests have been conclusive. Now it has to be included into cleaning vehicles to prove useful at a large scale.
Widespread media coverage has been given to the Statio Lib experiment. In the Chalets district, one hundred parking spaces equipped with sensors will very soon guide car drivers towards free parking spaces.
Among the disappointing innovations is the Mobulles system, displayed on each bus stop of the urban network to inform users owning Smartphones about transport, which was inconclusive. Less than a hundred people use these flashcodes every day, that is 34,000 connections per year.
The system of luminous slabs lighting up when a pedestrian crosses the street aroused the curiosity of many cities throughout the world. But, as they have been considered too fragile after a few months of experimentation, they have been removed last July to be adjusted.
Photo credit: DDM / La Dépêche du Midi
Translated by Oona Bijasson