The future of work and mobility in the city

by bold-lichterman

Bruno Marzloff is a sociologist, founder of the Chronos group and for his 2nd Vlan, we are going to talk about the future of work and its link with the city.
I have already received Bruno on my podcast in June to talk about the future of cities and therefore in a very connected way we are talking in this episode 55 of the intrinsic link with work.
It is obvious that cities concentrate work and that the evolution of cities occurs in concert with the evolution of work.

As it’s back to school for everyone, it seemed to me that this episode was just right as you will no doubt listen to it between your work and your home.

Who is building the city? What is the link with our work?

digital amplifie les problemes de la ville

For a century the city has been determined by architects and politicians who put the car at the center without necessarily realizing that it led to a dead end.
Finally, the automotive industry has largely contributed to the construction but also to the philosophy of the city.
At a time when obviously the car was representative of freedom but also of innovation.
Pompidou in the 60s still said that it was necessary ” reshaping the city for the car “.
But today, there is a rejection of the car, in particular for people who live within the city walls, and digital technology is seen as a miracle solution to all the city’s problems.
But Bruno is partly opposed to this position and speaks for example of Waze.
We could think of this application as intelligent as it uses algorithms to make sense of collective intelligence.
However, for Bruno, it is not smart for the common good because by making traffic more fluid, it only postpones the problem until later.
It should be noted that the actors of the web and in particular Google have taken an increasingly important part in the way in which the city is built.
Whether through Google Maps and Waze that we have just mentioned but above all Sidewalks Labs, a Google network around “smart” cities.
This company makes it possible to monitor the city in real time, to allow everyone to access this data but also to offer service suites to simplify daily life in the city.
But, as Bruno notes, there remains a masterful vagueness on the possession of the data in particular on the test that they are in the process of setting up in Toronto.
This is not a light question because to own the data is to have the power.
And suddenly, we have to ask ourselves the question of the user’s place in this city controlled by private companies.

Where are we going to work tomorrow?

entreprise schyzophrene travail a distance

To the extent that cities have also been built to access all of the services that we might need, will digital technology help unblock cities since we can now find what we need? even remotely want?
But also with teleworking, for example, but with the ability to work in spaces such as autonomous cars?
As Bruno underlines, the question of work is decisive in the construction of the city because the Fordist way of considering work (9 am-5pm) creates bottlenecks that are particularly harmful for the quality of life of city dwellers.
In particular, this involves calibrating the public transport offer to manage these flows, but this is obviously illusory because the rest of the time the roads or trains are very light.
Bruno obviously recognizes that digital can make it possible to reduce these sudden trips by giving the possibility of working remotely.
This is what he calls demobility.
But the limits are obviously with the employer who often impose the presence at 9am but on the other hand take advantage of the digital to require a reactivity in the evening or the WE.
For Bruno, what is in the process of being invented is an individualization of solutions with new ways of considering work for each person.
Whether through co-working spaces, remote work must also be mixed with face-to-face which is obviously non-negotiable and very important for it to work well.
Autonomous cars will come true but according to Bruno, we must especially think about whether this logic of the private car still makes sense as the roads are completely overcrowded.
We can obviously imagine that autonomous cars will be our offices of tomorrow and that consequently, we will be less looking at the time spent in them since the latter will have become productive.
But for Bruno, we have to reinvent the way of using the car, whether it is through a principle of shared car (autolib type) or carpooling but in any case, we will not be able to maintain this logic of individual car in the long term. .
Moreover, solutions based on the blockchain plan to solve this problem of dynamic carpooling over short distances.
In the end, at the center of tomorrow’s work is trust: can we be in a model of trust such that we can envisage a new model of labor productivity and in which the fulfillment of the worker will be at the heart of the objectives? of the company.

I think there is still a lot to say about the evolution of the work and I will have the opportunity to come back to it.
I found it interesting to watch it through the prism of the city because it is a totally intertwined relationship and often sudden by most city dwellers who “go up” to the city to be able to find a job that satisfies them.

The expert:


Gregory Pouy is the founder of LaMercatique, a digital transformation consulting firm focused on the marketing part. Based between New York and Paris, he is a marketing “expert” for To follow his writings and exchange with him