How does one of Europe’s biggest public transport networks continue to develop while taking into account climate questions and the disruption of transportation? The collaboration between Demos Helsinki and the RATP started in Paris in 2018.
The state-owned public transport operator and maintenance contractor Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) was formed in 1949 and was initially responsible for the operation of the city’s metro lines, the first of which was opened during the 1900 World’s Fair. The company now has activities in more than 40 countries.
The RATP approached Demos Helsinki with the aim of understanding the company’s future profile in Paris in 2035. The field of transportation is undergoing a strong shift, the ways the urban sphere is perceived are changing, as is the very idea of a city.
“The group wanted to form a very concrete vision with us of their position in Paris in 2035. We mapped out the future together in bite-size pieces, considering what sort of roles the RATP needs to take and what sort of alliances they should establish”, explains Johannes Nuutinen, Lead for International Markets at Demos Helsinki.
The collaboration of Demos Helsinki and the RATP focuses on the shifts in urban living and transportation. In Paris, the discussion around cities is essentially tied to climate questions, as well as to inequality, citizen participation and society-related tensions such as real estate speculation.
The collaboration led to futures visions that considered both the core business activities as well as the wider, societal significance of the RATP.
“The starting point was a typical one for us. The company knows that disruption is inevitable. We provide the tools to see what lies around the corner”, Johannes Nuutinen Says.
The RATP and Demos joined forces to create models for how the future visions impact the company’s strategy work, product development and organisational structure. The first project has already led to a further collaboration where the RATP is considering whether the mobility of people could be cut down through more rational solutions.
“Our team at Demos Helsinki understands the basic logic of business and we are able to combine this with an analysis of the major changes happening in society. Methodologically speaking, our expertise is in scenarios, meaning understanding the future and constructing clear images of the future. As a third point, this project has benefited from the underlining values of Demos Helsinki. The RATP has surely profited from our understanding of how to solve climate problems”, Johannes Nuutinen concludes.
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