Friday, December 14, 2007

vélib' and the future of the city

I don't usually do blog posts that merely link you to another blog post, but this quick-and-easy method is appropriate for this interesting post on the business model of the folks who operate the fabulously popular Vélib' bike-sharing program in Paris.

Here's the link: A lesson in business from the French

The author explains how bike sharing funded by advertising is like Google. He says "City inhabitants have two expected 'givens' for the future. The first is 'intermodalite' (using several modes of transport in one day) and the other is mobility itself (actually wanting to move around, not stay still)." This concept is linked to advertising in order to foot the bill for the system, a "Google of the city", where "information is half of the mobility". He says the business model "is about creating 'inhabited infrastructure' which attracts people and which creates more valuable advertising propositions for those with budgets." The key is "to create new flows from points along pathways, not to focus so much on the terminus at each end."

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