Today in the EU 75% of the population lives in urban areas - a figure set to rise to 80% by 2050. Hence the urgency to move to a more sustainable town or city model, in other words a town that is simultaneously dense, frugal, inclusive and well-performing but also attractive and resilient. All that requires several challenges to be tackled, such as the management of urban sprawl and the artificialisation of soils, efficiency in energy, water and materials, combating traffic congestion and air pollution or again, optimising resources and services. So adaptation and decarbonisation are particularly important, with mobility and construction taking priority.
Personal mobility is seeing an acceleration in alternative solutions (electric, hybrid or hydrogen vehicles and the associated recharging infrastructures, cable-powered transport etc.) and multi-modality. All depend heavily on new technologies (autonomous motors, smart intersections, travel apps, parking or car-sharing etc.). In the same way, goods transport in urban areas is also seeing important developments with sustainable urban logistics, “last mile” strategies and the growing use of waterways.
Whether residential, public service or other, building finds itself at the crossroads of environmental, climate, quality of life, and health issues - at every stage of its own life cycle (construction, operation, end-of-life). In addition to energy renovation, other major trends characterising the sector relate principally to air quality, rainwater management, circular economy and adaptation to climate change. Amongst the emerging solutions, bio- or geo-sourced construction materials, or those integrating recycling and modular construction are developing alongside solutions already in place such as renewable energies or green roofs and façades. A further trend underway is the evolution in usage, inspired by buildings rendered ever more intelligent and connected.