October 12, 2015
PRISCILLIA JORGE, « Daily journeys within the Metropolitan territories. Reflections on the experience lived by the suburban transport network's users in Paris and Milan », Hyper Article en Ligne - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, ID : 10670/1.07f6w7
The research fits into the study of the contemporary urban realities and aims at creating an interpretation by tensioning two major fields: the metropolitan model and the daily mobility, through the concept of lived space. The theoretical reasoning resonates with the current questionings in two European urban regions, Paris and Milan. If the notion of metropolis, vast and polysemous, entered by now the common language, its institutionalisation as an administrative territory should be considered. The institutional reform which is made in Paris and in Milan through the definition of new governance's perimeters – the Métropole du Grand Paris and the Città Metropolitana di Milano – justifies the questioning of the sense attributed to these extended and heterogeneous territorial frames by considering the inhabitants' representations and appropriation of the metropolitan spaces. Beside, the increased mobility led to question how the users' experience is integrated in the planning of urban transport infrastructure. The Grand Paris Express project which would complete the armature of the Réseau Express Régional (RER) in the Paris region but also the recent development of the Milanese Servizio Ferroviario Suburbano (SFS) are many reasons for questioning the way practices of daily mobility on the existing infrastructures allow the metropolitan territories to make sense for the inhabitants. The approach of the 'lived space', developed with the emergence of social geography, and reinvested today in new ways in urban planning, represents the base to the study of the relationship the inhabitants form with the horizontal metropolises' fragmented territories, in which they live and daily travel in. The research therefore propounds exploring the way the daily routes on suburban transport networks – the RER and the SFS –, which are located at the interface between the urban areas and the inhabitants who regularly use these transportation modes participate in the making of Parisian and Milanese metropolises' representations. Given the exploratory character of this approach, the article offers to develop a methodological reflection – on the elaboration of processes abling to interpret the metropolitan inhabitants' lived space, with a general focus on the Milanese case. The crossing between the theoretical postulates and the analysis' strategies claims to report, through various collection methods and transcription tools, the multi-scalar, procedural and subjective nature of socio-spatial representations. The research's ambition is to take part in setting up a template for the understanding of the metropolitan phenomenon and the experience of daily mobility. In an operational perspective, it is integrated in the more global objective to foster the citizens' inclusion on the territorial definition processes and in the transportation planning's field.