VÉLÉVAL - Assessment of the feasibility of cycling in urban spaces (2017)

Scientific coordinator: Nathalie Ortar (LAET)
Disciplines: Sociology – Computer Science – Geography
Laboratories: LAET – CITI – LIRIS – EVS – LLSETI
Partners: Lyon Métropole – Saint-Etienne Urban Planning Agency – Federation of Bicycle Users – Pignon sur Rue – OCI Vélo Saint


Véléval addresses the cyclability of urban spaces, both in terms of material and technical conditions but also in terms of the social conditions surrounding the use of bikes and conditioning the quality of travel by bike. The aim is to integrate cyclists' practices and experiences into the evaluation of journeys and places. This will involve investigating, based on the sociological characteristics of individuals, the role of material and technical aspects of cycling in the context of urban traffic, which includes geographical, material and symbolic aspects and may be characterised with regard to cycling by two concepts: otherness and vulnerability. The aim is to understand what, in people's social trajectory (gender, class, place of work and residence, cycling experience) and in their experience in situ (at ease or not) helps or hinders the adoption of cycling and how this clarifies the development of cycling in the city. Designed in connection with local institutions and civil society, this project aims to improve public policies with a view to the ecological and energy transition and the development of a more egalitarian and accessible city. We will survey around 40 cyclists in two conurbations with contrasting cycling policies: Lyon and Saint-Etienne.

First, they will be equipped with an application which will collect data on all their movements. These reports will be processed for statistical and mapping purposes. This mapping of GPS data will serve as a tool to help remember day-to-day journeys during the interviews, which will seek to establish: the cyclists' relationships with their bikes and with the city, representations of practices and the manner in which the cyclists decide on their itineraries. The aim of this work is to establish a typology of difficult, unusual or problematic places at the scale of an intersection or road.

The evaluation of the cyclability of these places will be conducted in a second phase thanks to the combination of a measurement of attention by oculometry and new memory reactivation interviews, this time to establish how the cyclists justify their own behaviour at the scale of the place.

The results of the various phases of the project will make it possible to establish measurements, representations and characteristics of places in order to redefine cyclability based on quantitative and qualitative indicators. To do this, the project is based on sociology, geography and specialised image and data analysis computer technology. The mutual increase knowledge produced is guaranteed by the very structure of the stages in the survey.