This visit provides a good overview of the inner Parisian suburbs. Using interconnected public buses, our itinerary is designed so that almost no walking is required, while putting you in direct contact with the local inhabitants. Following our route, you will cross 34 separate townships. If you wish to experience this tour, Nogo Voyages will provide you with an explanatory map and a « Mobilis » ticket. In exchange, and since Nogo Voyages produces travels, we would like the traveller to bring back a trace of his journey. The nature of this trace is left to the traveller's will, but it has to constitute a project in itself.
NogoVoyages provides you with your multi-zone bus ticket and this map and requests in exchange that you keep some record or trace of your experience (images, sounds, samples, interviews) or that you leave something along the way. The agency will subsequently gather together the different ways this request has been interpreted.
The figure of the loop
The peripheral loop is a recurring figure of the discourse on Paris suburbs.
In opposition to the centripetal configuration of Paris, the idea of a circular network which would allow one to get around appears as a miracle solution to solve all the problems of the metropolis. It would provide an alternative to the "black hole" shaped city, where everything is absorbed by the center. It would solve the inequality between the core and the periphery... A simple topologic inversion would suffice.
The invocation of the peripheral loop results from a sort of magical thinking: conjuring the strength of the centripetal networks by the strength of the circular networks: grands boulevards, loop-lines 2 and 6 of the subway, boulevards des Maréchaux, Périphérique, highway A86, Francilienne ring road, projects for subway or bus rings, etc.
Yet, the loop creates a completely different situation. Since it stays, by definition, always at the same distance from the center, it manifests in the territory the remoteness from the center. I know how distant I am according to the ring on which I stand. This only leads to reinforce the centripetal logic, to make it even more visible and to freeze it in the built up space.
Therefore, it is logical that these rings act as surrounding walls: one lives inside or outside the Périphérique, the 2-6 subway loop or the A86.
Infinite elongation of the equidistance
This travel is an exploration of the distance to the center. It remains almost constant (as much as the public bus networks allow) during eight hours, while the traveller is carried through 34 cities, before to return to his departure point.
Is he far from the center ? The journey stays approximately at half distance between the center of the agglomeration and the limits of the dense suburb : in the middle of an imaginary territory commonly called "first ring". Traveling on this ring lets one visualize what this purely geographical expression stands for. It gives a quick but global view of the urban landscape: residential areas and housing projects; long and monotonous sequences alongside with varied ones; north-south contrast; changes in vegetation, networks, population...
The Public Bus Tour is an impossible route: there is no convenient way to travel along this loop. This itinerary forces it to become real, by modifying the way networks are used and condensate in the course of a day places that would normally be separated.
Eight hours on the road is eight hours seeing what happens in the public space.
Above all, one travels in the bus itself, since one never gets out of it during the whole tour (except at bus stops). The public space explored is very different from the one in the street. Public buses form a mobile and closed microcosmos. A minimal social contract is respected: its users share the same space and accept the presence of others in this space. The alien traveller does not feel misplaced. It is a very convenient way to peek in the everyday life of an area. Since the 13 buses always connect local destinations, they are used mostly by people living nearby. Each bus has its own local atmosphere.