Infoscience

Thesis

Cadres de vie, modes de vie et mobilités de loisirs: les vertus de la ville compacte remises en cause?

This thesis aims to examine the causal mechanisms of living environments on leisure mobilities and verify whether their inclusion is actually able to challenge the compact city as a sustainable urban form. The research focuses on the Swiss case and in particular the cities of Geneva and Zurich. The empirical approach is based on three types of additional analysis carried out in these areas: contextual analysis, quantitative analyzes based on data from the Mobility and Transport Microcensus 2010 and qualitative analysis through interviews. The main results are the following: • We find the existence of two opposing logics of association between land density and distance traveled: a decreasing link to daily mobility, but a positive correlation for occasional mobility (day trips and overnight trips). The denser is the living environment, the greater is the distance for this mobility. • Adding the two types of mobility to obtain a total average, we find that the inner city dwellers displayed, ultimately, much higher totals than would suggest the analysis of their daily mobility alone which therefore represent an invitation to invalidate the link compact city=short distances. • By transforming these distances into environmental impact, however, our calculations show that even while taking into account the many trips of urban dwellers, the negative relationship between total energy consumption and land density of the territory remains. • By examining in detail the share of leisure in daily and occasional mobility, we see that the logic of compensation is not what structures the links with urban environnements. In everyday life, the logic of proximity prevails: to live in the centre is rather correlated to more compactophile leisure and residing in the periphery to more leisure oriented towards the attributes of nature. • For occasional trips, we show firstly that compactophile mobilities represent a large part of these practices among all respondents, and secondly, that even in the case of very important and high energy consuming naturophile mobility, the relationship with the density of the living environment is not established. The central Genevans and are much less consumers of this type of leisure than people in the centre of Zurich even though their city is much more airy and green. Moreover, we also highlight, in peri-urban dwellers, a very intense mobility or this purpose. • The interpretation that we propose refers to lifestyles and residential choice of city dwellers which takes into account their leisure aspirations. These tastes are then translated into specific leisure activities and travel. In everyday life, they rely on proximity and functional, social and sensitive attributes of their living environment that they have chosen largely also for this. When it comes to breaking the routines during holidays and vacations, the same lifestyles result in significant occasional mobility whose motives can register in continuity of their daily lifestyle (loving the same things elsewhere) or by contrast (appreciate the diversity of spaces). In both cases, these motivations echo the valorisation of the diversity inherent in urbanity without questioning the urban residential location quality itself. Our results lead us ultimately to reject the compensation effect hypothesis and reaffirm, against the defenders of the sprawl-city, the virtues of the compact city, which remains a sustainable urban form, including for our leisure mobility.

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