The origins of the project

The "Laboratoires d'Excellence" (research institutes of excellence) initiative, is one of the “investissements d’avenir” (investments in the future) programmes being sponsored by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French national research agency). It aims to develop research excellence in all regions and across all disciplines, to encourage the best French institutes to enhance their scientific potential by recruiting researchers and investing in innovative infrastructure, and to promote ambitious, internationally renowned scientific projects sponsored by research institutes or clusters. 

Project coordination

The "FUTURBAINS" project, supported by Frédéric de Coninck (engineering graduate of Ponts, des Eaux et des Forêts, Director of Research, empowered to direct sociological research, attached to École des Ponts ParisTech) was selected from the first call for proposals for the "Laboratoires d'Excellence" (research institutes of excellence) initiative, part of the Investissements d'avenir (investments in the future) programme launched in August 2010. (download the project)

Frédéric de Coninck was in charge of scientific coordination of LABEX Urban Futures through 31 August 2016.

Scientific coordination of LABEX Urban Futures is now the responsibility of Olivier Coutard as scientific and technical director (Director of Research at the CNRS - LATTS), Roberta Morelli (Assistant Professor - ENSA Paris-Belleville - AUSSER/IPRAUS) as assistant scientific and technical director, and Bruno Tassin (Director of Research - École des Ponts ParisTech - LEESU) as assistant scientific and technical director.

Scientific project structuring

The creation of LABEX was greatly facilitated by the scientific structuring of the Université Paris-Est community of universities and institutions (COMUE Université Paris-Est) (which initially had the status of a PRES [(Research and higher education cluster]) but quickly opted to structure its amenities around two clusters: “Health and society" and "City, Environment and related engineering science".

The existence of the City, Transport and Territory Doctoral School within this cluster had provided an initial platform for the collective research dynamic that has been forged over the years.

The research teams at COMUE Université Paris-Est, with expertise in the environment, architecture, planning and transport, submitted the “Urban Futures” project as part of the "Laboratoires d'Excellence" call for proposals.