Launched on September 27, 2018 for a minimum of 4 years, the UrbaRiskLab project aims to unite the quest for excellence on the theme of risk and crisis at the Greater Paris, national and international levels. The project is funded by Paris-Est University’s I-SITE FUTURE. UrbaRiskLab has taken up the challenge of understanding the dynamics of risks and crises in urban areas in order to provide strategic, political, technical, economic and social responses to make cities safe and resilient.
All crises – be they natural, climatic, chemical, pathogenic, economic, cyber or societal, anticipated or unexpected, exceptional or chronic, rapidly evolving or slow moving – generate significant scientific, technical, organizational and political uncertainty. They raise crucial questions with regard to preparation, rescue intervention, monitoring and detection, modeling tools, anticipating cascade effects, decision support and post-crisis management. Understanding the dynamics of urban risks and crises is a scientific challenge in terms of providing strategic, political, technical, economic and social responses to these problems and making cities safe and resilient.
It is against this backdrop that UrbaRiskLab brings together a hundred or so researchers who, together, offer scientific expertise and knowledge of all categories of risks that weigh on urban areas. Thus, risks – road safety, infrastructural, technical network-related, natural, economic, financial, insurance, environmental, climatic, meteorological, terrorist, health, social inequalities and crowd movement-related risks – are an integral part of the research carried out by and conducted within the consortium.
The key word in UrbaRiskLab’s scientific approach is interdisciplinarity. To foster this, the consortium has been organized in the form of “MiniLabs.” The latter are designed as research incubators within the project, whose facilitation is entrusted to a pair of researchers from the physical/engineering sciences and the humanities/social sciences. “MiniLabs” aim to explore scientific themes in an interdisciplinary way, to strengthen the ties between innovation and research, to establish strong partnerships, to test research fields and to expand the research and training offers at the future Gustave Eiffel University.
There are currently four “MiniLabs.” This number may, however, vary over time. Some may disappear while new ones emerge and others merge according to research needs. The labs have been titled as follows:
The “MiniLabs” aim to partner researchers and socio-professional partners (public, private and mixed) around common structuring projects that meet the specific needs of both communities.