Crédit Agricole Immobilier shareholder of the startup nation

Who needs architects, urban planners and landscapers to create the city of tomorrow? Certainly not Crédit Agricole and its group of startups.

On April 25, 2022, Le Village by CA Paris, “ startup accelerator that supports large groups/ETIs for the future of their industries » founded in 2014 by Crédit Agricole, and Crédit Agricole Immobilier launched their first call for applications – entitled ‘Tomorrow’s real estate, uses and low carbon’ – « for start-ups to create the city of tomorrow”.

Creating the city of tomorrow? Not a street, not a block, not a neighborhood, not a city… Nothing less! Nice ambition. Note, however, that it is paradoxical that Crédit Agricole Immobilier is now committed to inventing the city when agriculture is dying, polluted by the productivist industry of large clients, the small ones strangled by their debts to… Crédit Agricole. Is everything so dead in the countryside that you have to look for new markets downtown?

How does Crédit Agricole Immobilier create the city of tomorrow? He appeals to the entrepreneurial startups of the pardi country, “ startups under 6 years old [ayant] passed the POC (Proof Of Concept) phase and whose solution can be immediately implemented in a Credit project Agricultural Properties “. Because obviously, an immediate project by Crédit Agricole Immobilier is the city of tomorrow!

For the lucky ones, the key: a financial allocation of €10,000 excluding taxes for the 1ster€6,000 without VAT for the 2ndn/a and €4,000 without VAT for the 3º in the classification. Not to mention, present, a day of ” field training ” and ” a Pitch Party night announcing the podium at Village by CA Paris “. This means that this competition is richly endowed and the stakes are important.

These urban startups will therefore have to work on the themes of ” mutability/scalability “, of ” Stakeholder consultation “, of ” Mobility ” and some ” Health and wellness “… We felt that among the geeks of Crédit Agricole, it was necessary to choose among the commonplaces. The city of tomorrow started well.

All of this obviously from increasingly numerous and invasive data stored in increasingly larger, more energy-consuming and more invasive data centers. And thanks to thousands of ecological satellites.

A geek thinks in terms of algorithms and is convinced that calculations can solve all problems. This is its quality and its limit. It’s up to the customer to ask the right question. Why, for example, would Crédit Agricole not impose bold themes in its ‘startups and city of tomorrow’ competition instead of the usual Newspeak? How, for example, to justify precisely what “every sensor project to monitor traffic, noise, weather, energy consumption and even garbage collection up to the second concretely brings to citizens. There are many environmental studies before the construction of a building, there could well be an independent assessment of the interest of this new application, especially with regard to its cost to the community.

Or, in a matter as important as the city of tomorrow, sponsoring the search for an algorithm to unearth and denounce the approximations, even lies, of ‘corporate’ communication driven by the increasingly unbridled pursuit of profit. This is a project that would be useful to humanity.

It is not just about protecting your personal and private data in this case, but just as city cameras have only enriched camera merchants, while people have never been so afraid as since their installation, surveillance devices enrich merchants of cameras fear and security industrialists, the latter inevitably ending up in the sin of greed. Even in China, the world champion country, they couldn’t believe how quickly facial recognition had become obsolete!

Illustration in today’s startup city that should serve as a model. I don’t know if you took the train recently. To buy your digital ticket, you must now provide a lot of information, including of course your phone number and email address. So now, just before arriving at your destination, you receive a text message from SNCF telling you not to forget anything on the train, coming after the same voice message from the driver. A few minutes later, when you enter the station, another SMS from SNCF informs you that you are entering the station and hopes you had a good trip. Time to get to the office, a new email from SNCF to ask what you think of your trip between Paris and Amiens! All going straight to the digital recycle bin.

It took the intelligence of a startup to simplify our lives to this point. So how much did they invest and how long did it take to write the welcome text? And how long did it take for how many people to validate that text – after all, it is the SNCF image that it is – before it was sent out by the millions every day to all passengers, which obviously costs nothing? Will the state soon finance its own SNCF satellites?

This must be the smart city we’re being fed. I fear rather that in the price of my increasingly expensive ticket, I’ll pay the stupid startup that convinced an SNCF idiot that it’s necessary to send millions of text messages a day to all those little kids who take the train and don’t even know when to get on anymore. at the station. And he, the poor beginner of other people’s money, not only earns very well, but is also convinced to work for the city of tomorrow and for the happiness of all.

As the fiasco in Toronto attests,* which today still wants to launch a call for candidacies from start-ups to think about the city of tomorrow, if not the opportunistic genius who imagines that his plan will not fail to please the newly re-elected of the startup nation ?

Above all, what idea does the Crédit Agricole Immobilier have of the city of tomorrow that does not invite architects or urban planners or even technical services from interested municipalities to imagine with it? The promoter could have increased the grants and required the presence of an architect, urban planner and/or landscape designer in the start-up teams. I’m sure that by the end of the competition, startups would be less stupid than they were when they started. And in teamwork, who knows…

Otherwise, I’m sure that algorithms are capable of demonstrating the effectiveness of lines of buildings drawn straight into the horizon like so many rows of onions and that a startup will have the idea of ​​imagining, after the toilets, smart buildings, smart sewers that will come up with a method of mouse skin recycling.

How to put beauty, emotion in algorithms and solve the equation of these places without particular attractions but where you feel good and those others, over-designed and costing a lot, that don’t even interest the pigeons?

Here, on the pigeons, an algorithm to control the breeding of these birds in order to limit it to 1.9 chicks per family, which would be useful for the city of tomorrow, the pigeons will have disappeared without violence in twenty years. Our grandchildren will no longer be able to spell the word.

Now if, in fact, a startup more intellectually agile than the others imagines a system to clean the air in today’s city, I’m interested, but it’s easier to police the neighbor than to save his life. Furthermore, after 100 years of Crédit Agricole, it is a pleasure to see the state of our world champion productivist agriculture, as well as the quality of our soils. Do you have another idea, how to ensure that the humans living in these cities of the future are not poisoned from birth to death by pesticides and chemicals to the point of rendering an entire population sterile? Here’s an algorithm that all of us wouldn’t be displeased with.

That Crédit Agricole Immobilier supports French start-ups, very good for that. But entrusting them with the city of tomorrow? Like the one that Silicon Valley giants have been working on for over twenty years? Zee Town of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example?

In fact, twenty more years of start-ups and, at this rate, architects aligned with pigeons, the city of the future will have become a huge reserve of stupid, obese humans awaiting their trip to Mars. As the earth is flat, the others, equipped with GPS, go on foot or by bicycle.

Christophe Leray

Read our article In Toronto, the smart city fiasco neither smart nor city

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