Post-Car World: Why Laugh at Change? Definitions of the Car and Potential Changes
Far from the sirens of Modernism and the models founded on a standard vision of humanity, the scope of the Post-Car World research project is pluralistic. This project, funded by the Fonds National (Synergia), aims to create urban planning scenarios, focusing on the role of the car. Originally based on our investigation of people’s relationship with the car, the plurality of practices and their possible (and desired) alternatives will likewise enhance these scenarios. This plurality of views will be the gauge of the pragmatism of the scenarios proposed, along with the fact that they tend to exhaust the practices and expectations to come. Neither utopian nor imaginary, these scenarios will come from inhabitants themselves, who we will interview regarding their expectations via surveys that will be conducted throughout Switzerland. In addition to the qualitative portion, we will also introduce a participatory process wherein respondents – originating from a variety of socio-spatial categories (different levels of urbanity, lifestyles, age groups, etc.) will be interviewed in two phases. In the first, they will describe their relationship to the car and their expectations in terms of mobility. This group of interviews will provide avenues for the construction of new scenarios, indicating the specific needs of users in their domains. We will then return to the field for a second phase, now armed with the already developed scenarios, in order to collect feedback from the respondents. The methods to be used will include: commentated itineraries, where users’ behaviors in their mobility context will provide us with non-verbal information; images and photos of real and projected situations to stimulate the imagination and encourage commentary and critique by respondents; and collective interviews, which will allow us to evaluate the scenarios via discussions during the second interview. In our communication, we will present the findings from the pre-survey of experts regarding the opportunities and constraints linked to the place of the automobile in participants’ lifestyles.