The Modeling of Urban Transport in France since the 1980s, or the Gradual Domination by the Private Sector

Special Report
By Konstantinos Chatzis

During the period from 1950 to 1980, the collaborative efforts of private and public actors, under the aegis of the French central state, resulted in the creation of national expertise in the field of the modelling of intra-urban mobility. Standardized in the early 1970s, thanks to the action of State agencies, this expertise was implemented massively throughout the nation. But from the 1980s on, one can witness the progressive withdrawal of the French State from this field, in favour of private consulting firms, often from abroad, which became the main repository of expertise in this modelling domain. The objective of this article is to provide evidence bearing out the increasing importance of the private sector in the modelling of intra-urban mobility in France, and to suggest a series of structural factors which have influenced this change.

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