For Clean, Inclusive and Digital Cities

The French industrial ecosystem is deeply investing in disruptive technologies to invent the future of sustainable cities.

With its expertise in sustainable transportation, clean energy, smart buildings and waste & water treatment, La French Fab is laying the foundations for the city of tomorrow.

In September 2021, French company Poma inaugurated a 3.4-kilometre long mega cable in Pereira, a city in Colombia with 500,000 inhabitants. It is the longest urban ropeway in the country, and as such saves over 60,000 people valuable time on their daily journeys. A world leader in urban ropeway transport, Poma, an SME based in the French Alps, operates aerial tramways worldwide – including Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Toulouse in France, Saint-Denis on the island of La Réunion, and Ulan Bator in Mongolia.

Like Poma, French industry is exporting its know-how to shape the city of tomorrow. The latter has to be sustainable and inclusive. La French Fab is guided by its industry leaders – such as Veolia in waste and water treatment, Schneider in smart grids, EDF and Engie in clean energy, Alstom and RATP in urban transportation. A wide array of SMEs are expanding in their wake. For example, PellencST, a supplier of waste sorting and recycling solutions, equips the Suez factory in Ölbronn, Germany. The French multinational has, moreover, joined forces with Paris-based company Paprec to set up the joint venture France Plastiques Recyclage. The two companies have combined their expertise to manufacture recycled rPET plastic from plastic bottles, which is then sold to multinationals such as Danone or L’Oréal.

In these times of Covid-19, health is more than ever a priority in urban policy. In this context, Envea, a company specialised in air quality monitoring, exports its solutions as far afield as China. Protecting the environment is another priority for city mayors, who understand that the economy of tomorrow will be circular. In Bordeaux, in the south-west of France, construction professional Eiffage has just delivered a 17-storey wood-and-concrete tower, thus saving 1,400 tonnes of CO2 compared with a traditional 100% concrete building.

Last, the French industry is finally converting to algorithms in order to gain efficiency. It can count on the talents of La French Tech, as illustrated by the case of the start-up GeoTwin. This Parisian AI company creates digital twins of cities. Its simulation solution in SaaS mode makes it possible to model and plan the movements of a population, in order to ensure that those operating in the area of mobility are able to design products that match requirements as closely as possible. GeoTwin is conducting forward-looking studies in the areas of electro mobility and flying taxis for 2030. The start-up established in 2018 is already exporting to Singapore and Qatar. The preparation of the 2024 Olympic Games will be a great opportunity for GeoTwin and for many French Fab companies to further improve their offerings in respect of the sustainable city.

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