Profile of Mr Tjark Gall Université Paris Saclay | IRT SystemX

Tjark Gall

// PhD Candidate on Human-centred Scenarios for Urban Mobiliy Futures in Metropolitan Areas in the case of Paris / Île-de-France.

// MSc Urban Management and Development Studies from IHS, Rotterdam, MSc Architecture and Urban Design from the Technical University of Brunswick.

General research interests

// Urban development
// Spatial justice and equity
// Urban mobility futures in metropolitan areas
// Generative design & simulation on urban scale

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Building urban mobility futures for and with the inhabitants of a territory : a human-centered scenario-based design approach

PhD Abstract

Many science fiction stories play with paradoxes and risks of altering the future through small modifications of the past or present. At the same time, Stephen Hawkins argued that despite potential determinism of the future, every attempt to measure the present on nano-scale would lead to the alteration of the very same due to the energy emitted during the measurement. Transferring this to the context of scenario-building, could this mean that effective forecasting of the future could lead to the potential manifestation of the very same or at least impacting it positively?

The proposed research project shall explore the above by developing multiple human-centred scenarios for urban mobility in the Île-de-France which shall act as the foundation for backcasting sustainable pathways towards innovative products and services which can disrupt current practices.

The focus shall be on human mobility, excluding related topics such as city logistics/transport. While the research area shall be the metropolis of Paris, the research must span scales from ultra-local, unmotorised mobility up to international travel and commute via transport hubs (e.g. airports).

The study of mobility shall encompass the 8Ds of mobility (diversity, density, design, destination accessibility, distance to transit, development scale, demographics, and demand management), CASE (connected, autonomous, shared & service, electric), specific models such as Transit-Oriented Development, as well as technology-focused elements such as (electric) Mobility-as-a-Service. At the same time, the urban environment plays a crucial role; spanning from socio-economic and governance to spatial dimensions, both in local design environments and metropolitan/territorial policy contexts. The widespread interrelation and dependencies across scales and topics and the nature of mobility structures suggest the consideration of complexity/chaos theory to dismantle hidden patterns.
Based on the in-depth understanding of impacting elements – coupled with qualitative input collected through participatory practices – boundary conditions (defining the "cone of uncertainty", Marra 2020), as well as scenarios, shall be developed. These must build upon current trends such as population growth, urbanisation, climate crises, increasing GHG emissions, resource scarcity, and national/EU policies. The subsequent process of exploratory scenario planning shall merge social and analytical scenarios to anticipate a range of future conditions, and allow for improved adaptive, resilient, and contingency planning, as well as sustainability backcasting to derive solutions through pain points and weak signals which can lead towards the anticipated future pathways.