VIA FUTURA: Extension of the Nations tram line in Geneva

urbz is leading a participatory process for a major transport infrastructure along the United Nations quarters, which connects local, regional and global issues linked to environment, growth and lifestyle.

by Amin

Geneva is developing and adapting to profound changes around the environment, population growth and lifestyle choices. The project is an opportunity to reflect collectively about how our lifestyles and the way we travel will change. How does Geneva adapt to the profound changes that will transform our everyday lives?

urbz and Mobil'homme (mobility research specialists) have been mandated by the State and Republic of Geneva to lead a participatory process on the extension of the number 15 tram line from the iconic public square in front of the United Nations along the Route de Ferney to the Commune of Grand Saconnex and out towards France.

Via Futura is a space for co-creation between citizens and public authorities. Residents and stakeholders from Greater Geneva will be able to share their insights, identify problematics and put forward ideas to improve the project's attractivity and quality. The results of the process will inform political decisions impacting the project's implementation.

 

VIA FUTURA: A SPACE FOR CO-CREATION BETWEEN CITIZENS AND PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

Residents and stakeholders from Greater Geneva will be able to share their insights, identify problematics and put forward ideas to improve the project's attractively and quality. The results of the process will inform political decisions impacting the project's implementation. Via Futura is also the first project on the Canton of Geneva's new digital platform for participation decidim.ch (beta).

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE LOCAL
The project is part of the wider transformation of the International Geneva district and neighbourhoods in Grand Saconnex that will see over the coming years large scale development of:

  • - housing
  • - a buildings renovation and expansion programme for international organisations
  • - new spaces for work, leisure, culture, and communities 
  • - a multimodal mobility system including a new, more efficient vehicular route connecting the City centre to the Swiss national motorway and France, together with new cycle and pedestrian routes, 
  • - the improvement and creation of public spaces.

REGIONAL IMPACT

Geneva is one of the most dynamic agglomerations in Western Europe. Its population has grown over 30% in 30 years and now represents 1 million people (half in France and half in Switzerland). The city has about 200,000 people, with a density of 12 589 per km2, which is comparable to Barcelona or Brooklyn. As the Agglomération goes beyond state and national boundaries, the question of mobility has become critical to Geneva's growth strategy. Individual vehicular traffic is having an increasing impact on Geneva's limited infrastructure and quality of life. As the City and Agglomeration grows, there is an impetus on how people move around more efficiently and sustainably. 

The first phase will extend the line to a new Park and Ride by the French border, offering a service to residents in France and the neighbouring Canton of Vaud to access the city and their place of work using public transport. The public authorities are studying a further extension of the tram into France as part of a second phase.

One of the stops on the tram line will connect to the new Leman Express, a series of regional train lines (230km of tracks and 45 stations) that connect Geneva, the Canton of Vaud and France. Scheduled for full service in December 2019, the Leman Express has been Geneva's largest infrastructure project in recent times overseeing new railway infrastructure in the city and the creation of four new train stations.

 

GLOBAL DIMENSIONS

There are multiple global dimensions interconnected to the project. 

The neighbourhoods that are directly affected by the tram line extension are home the core hub of the International Geneva sector, a major economic sector and an integral element of Geneva and Switzerland's identity and USP. Consequently, the people who live and work in the area are a mixture of local Genevans and internationals from all over the world. 

Geneva Airport is a stone's throw away from the new tram line extension. The route de Ferney is currently a main axe to the airport and for hundreds of thousands of visitors to Geneva, it forms part of their gateway to the City. In addition, people from all over the world use it to access meetings and conferences hosted by International Geneva actors.

The tram project is also part of a wider global effort to rethink our environmental, economic and social relationship with the planet and with each other. The UNs Sustainable Development Goals represent this shift and via futura address four of these goals:

3 Good Health and Wellbeing, 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and 13 Climate Action.