Columbia | CBIPS: AEC Industry Experiences from COVID-19 Lecture by Catherine Barbé


Past Event

Columbia | CBIPS: AEC Industry Experiences from COVID-19 Lecture by Catherine Barbé

June 16, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Catherine Barbé
Strategic Partnerships
Société du Grand Paris

Topic: COVID-19 Impact on the Paris Region Transportation and Urbanism

In the Paris Region, COVID-19 has made public transport even more important. COVID-19 also raises questions about the way urbanism has developed in the past decades.

People are now reluctant to use public transport because it is usually very crowded. But there are not many alternatives: car use cannot increase much because of congestion and municipalities tend to try to reduce it even more because of pollution.

Biking is increasing incredibly thanks to the initiatives of local authorities. But bike-riding will not become overnight the main mechanical means of transportation as it now is in northern European cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Teleworking will probably remain more important than it was before the crisis. But most workers will still need to commute to work either because their job is essential to city life (for example shopkeepers, street cleaners, nurses, and teachers …) or because their organization does not allow teleworking. For them, public transport will remain indispensable.

This explains why the Grand Paris Express construction sites, 200 kilometers of new underground railway around Paris, reopened as soon as possible after the lockdown was eased and without any dispute.

The Grand Paris Express project will be even more useful if more people tend to move to outer suburbs to live in houses with gardens instead of small apartments in the very center of the Parisian metropolis. They will have to commute longer distances, but perhaps will not do so everyday thanks to teleworking. A faster new network will help them to reach workplaces still concentrated in the center of Paris.

Click here for the PPT presentation of the lecture. Click here for the video presentation of the lecture.



Marilisa Stigliano
Director of Operations





Feniosky Peña-Mora, Sc.D., FCIOB, NAC
Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University