Applying innovative scientific solutions

Science topics June 2015 InnovationTransportEnergyCity


Sense-city, de la ville intelligente à la ville durable

  • Écoutez  Bérengère Lebental du Laboratoire LISIS, Département COSYS



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In addition to its expertise in transportation, urban areas and natural hazards, IFSTTAR can apply innovative scientific solutions. Below you can find out about some of IFSTTAR’s outstanding scientific facilities.


Sense-city, the miniature climate-controlled city

Sense-City is a «Facilities of Excellence» (Équipex) programme that is scheduled to run from 2011 to 2019 and is funded to the tune of €9 million by the Future Investments Programme. This programme brings together IFSTTAR, ESIEE-CCIP, LPICM-École polytechnique, CSTB, INRIA and UPEM. The Équipex aims to provide a chain of facilities for prototyping and evaluating the performance of innovative technology and its associated risks for urban applications. At its centre is a «mini climate-controlled city», which is a huge 400 square metre hall which is mobile and reconfigurable that can house realistic full-scale or scale models of the main components of a city: buildings, infrastructure, distribution networks and the subsoil.
While awaiting the definitive climate-controlled infrastructure which is planned for 2016, a first «communicating mini-city» has been set up on the IFSTTAR Marne-la-Vallée site at one end of the Bienvenüe building. This 250 m² research space is dedicated to technological innovations for the sustainable city and presents an urban scenario built around intelligent roads and housing. This space, which was opened in March 2015, is the first large-scale implementation of the Sense-City concept.


ECORCE, ECOcomparateur Route Construction Entretien

ECORCE is a software package that uses specific data obtained during the different stages of road construction, maintenance and recycling to develop environmental indicators. It provides life-cycle inventory data and environmental indicators for the following types of road works :

  • the construction and structural maintenance of highway pavements;
  • the construction of capping layers;
  • the construction of the upper layers of earthworks;
  • the construction of embankments.

This software was developed by l'Ifsttar and the Scientific and Technical Network (RST) of the Ministry with Responsibility for Sustainable Development (MEDDE) in the framework of two consecutive research projects which got under way on 2005 (managed by Agnès Jullien, IFSTTAR/AME/EASE).