Be Bordeaux

Description: Thesis project to give a functionality to urban trees using technology and tourism.
Client: Kedge Design School
Job title: Designer
Location: Toulon, France
Year: 2015


The city of Bordeaux is world famous for its wine. But Bordeaux it’s also a Metropole part of UNESCO world heritage, that focuses on tourism, public transport, environment and technology. For example, the tourist office uses augmented reality to discover the city through different centuries. And the municipality developed a website referencing all the trees of the town and their characteristics.

What problem did I solve?

The first idea of my thesis was to change our relationship with public hotspots. In 2015, data was still limited and roaming wasn’t free. When we needed data, we were running into a McDonald to get free wifi. So I wanted to create a “tree hotspot” for trees to become our modern saviours: “look there’s a tree there! Yeah!”.

The survey with 50 people confirmed this behaviour but it became clear after studying the feasibility that I had to reframe my topic. By stepping back I realized what I was really trying to solve: I wanted to give urban trees a functionality for people and municipalities to care about them:

“When we don’t have our phone around us, we are terrified because we are addicted… We need to have the same reaction when we can’t find a tree on a street”.

How did I solve it?

The idea
I realized that urban trees is a dense, unique and unused network in town. This network has the potential to become a functionality for citizen. But I had to target the audience in order to create a business model.

The client
I made the choice to create an app for the municipality of Bordeaux. The goal is to attract more tourists by providing a unique service using urban trees.
Indeed, in 2015, Bordeaux was elected Best European Destination for a period of 2 years. Development of tourism was their goal number one. Their main project being the creation of the fast line train from Paris. Thus to connect to an international hub, and attract French tourists that could now come just for the weekend.

The project
The app provides a service using trees and technologies, aimed to facilitate tourists life and improve their enjoyment while visiting Bordeaux.

The touchpoints
Using customer journey’s mapping, I defined two main touchpoints to be seen by most tourists.
The first one were the airport and the train station. Here could be planted a majestic tree, or an artistic totem-tree that would attract the eye of tourists and communicate about the app.
The second touchpoints would be the hotels & hostels. The municipality could print and send to all the hotels a sticker to stick on their counter explaining the use of the app. This touchpoint is more calm to download the app and discover the different activities. The sticker could have a QR code or an RFID to facilitate the interaction.


What was the impact?

The project got the congratulation of the jury. I continued my journey to a Master so it stayed as a concept.
In 2018, Google announced that they will use augmented reality to improve their service for pedestrians.


Find the full presentation of Be Bordeaux here.