Patrick Jouin initially designed the billboards associated with the self-service bicycle stations for JCDecaux. The 1,628 billboards and 1,400 stations were installed for a ten-year period. The bicycle service is called Vélib', a contraction of the French words vélo and liberté. Today in Paris, the 1,400 stations make over 20,000 bicycles available to the public.
The success of these street furniture elements is due in part to the plant metaphor that inspires them. The gentle curve of the attachment points evokes the shape of grass, and the arc of the bollards, the shape of trees. The plant reference pays subtle homage to Hector Guimard's famous urban contributions to the Art Nouveau era. The series features sophisticated technology. The attachment points feature bike locking mechanisms and RFID reading technology, for example. Inside each terminal is an information system comprising a computer, a credit card reader, two smart card readers and a printer, to make it easy to rent a bike, check your account balance or obtain information about the service.
Their dense layout and fluid aesthetics revitalize the perception and use of urban space. Designed on the scale of a capital city, these new services establish and integrate mobility and accessibility.