Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY

Associate professor in geography, member of the PLACES research group and secondarily affiliated with the UMR Géographie-cités

CY Cergy Paris Université


jean-baptiste.fretigny ( at )

Research topics

  • large scale (migrations, tourism, work-related) and mundane mobilities
  • metropolitan public spaces
  • territorialities, places and networks
  • practices, representations and meanings
  • power and inequalities
  • mixed methodologies


CY Cergy Paris Université • UFR Lettres et Sciences Humaines
33 boulevard du Port, 95011 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, France

My research focuses on the heterogeneity of experiences, meanings and politics of mobilities. They are situated within the fields of mobilities studies, urban studies as well as of social and cultural geography. I question this heterogeneity through the prism of:

  • mobile segregation, informality, control and power relationships engaged in and through mobility, be they related to class, gender, race, sexuality, disabling situations, etc.;
  • connections between public spaces and mobilities;
  • transport places and the heterogeneous practices and territorialities engaged through them, notably regarding airports, aeromobilities and global mobilities;
  • identities, subjectivities and the assemblage of individual/collective networked territorialities produced by mobilities, notably large scale mobilities, questioning the dichotomy of Here and Elsewhere and pointing to micro-geographies stretching from the scale of the body to the global scale;
  • environmental, social and cultural challenges raised by mobilities politics, notably regarding climate change and the (de)carbonation of travel;
  • social and scientific uses and imaginations of mobilities, their categories, instruments and data.

To investigate these objects, in relationship with my teaching activities, I work on mixed methodologies, aiming at connecting and contextualizing (rather than juxtaposing) quantitative and qualitative methods, and at better representing the plurality of worldviews at stake. Whether it is the analysis and coding of research materials or their (carto)graphic and iconographic representation (qualitative indicators, mixed GIS, various forms of mapping, etc.), the challenge of this research is to contribute to renewing the set of different methods and their interpretation, in relation to data visualization, digital humanities and the reflexivity of scientific knowledge.


2013 PhD (Geography) – Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, “Mobilities to the Test of Airports: from Public Spaces to Networked Territorialities” volume and translated extracts in English

2009 MSc Geography-Carthagéo – Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

2009 École Normale Supérieure PSL Diploma

Professional Experience

Since 2014 Associate Professor of Human Geography at CY Cergy Paris Université

2012 – 2014 Short-term lecturer – Sorbonne Université, Department of Geography

2009- 2012 PhD research contract – Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, grant from the Île-de-France Regional Council

Scientific Activities

Coordination of research projects

2018 – 2022 PaMIzMex: Paris, Milan, Izmir and Mexico, When migrant-e-s in transit produce the city. This project aims at understanding how, by their interactions in public space, migrants in transit contribute to shape deeply metropolitan societies and places. It is codirected with Nadine Cattan and Laurent Faret, financed by the DynamiTe LabEx (SAR-Dyn) and connecting researchers based in Canada, France, Italy, Mexico and Turkey.

2017 – 2019 DécaFmob : France’s decarbonization of mobilities / Living in the mobility transition France. This interdisciplinary project questions the rationales and limits of politics aiming at reducing the carbon footprint of mobilities in France, while transport is the first contributor to climate change in the country and globally. It it has been carried out in partnership with the Mobile Lives Forum.

Participation in research projects

2022 – 2026 VILMOUV (Cities in movement. Mobilities, social and spatial changes in urban spaces of Central Mediterranean (Italy, Malta, Tunisia). This interdisciplinary project probes the part played by various mobilities in the urban changes at stake in Central Mediterranean in a context of major political and socio-economic transformations. It is directed by Camille Schmoll, Thomas Pfirsch and Giovanni Semi and is funded by the École française de Rome.

2022-2023 DITES (The Territorial Dimension of the Health Crisis). The aim of this research is to shed light on the territorial logics at work in the context of COVID-19 health crisis and the complex relationships between actors that it brings into play in order to shed light on and strengthen crisis management in Lebanon. It is directed by Nadine Cattan, in collaboration with the AUSser laboratory and the Lebanese University, and is funded by ANR-AFD-CNRS-L Action-Liban.

2021-2023 MAMA (From the World Before to the World After). This project concerns a multidimensional investigation of the adjustments, dynamics and reorganisations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coordinated by the CNRS Institute of Human and Social Sciences and transversal to six CNRS laboratories, it is led by Céline Vacchiani-Marcuzzo for the UMR Géographies-cité.

2018 – 2022 Firminfra: The land and real estate activity of transport infrastructure operators, through the study of the Société du Grand Paris and Aéroports de Paris. This project sheds light on the changing role of transport infrastructure operators who tend to diversify their action and territoriality. It is led by Juliette Maulat and Natacha Aveline and is financed by the DynamiTe LabEx (SAR-Dyn).

2016-2018 IQuaParc: Which qualitative indicators for the French Vexin Natural Park? The objective of the project was both to propose relevant indicators for the park’s planning in relationship with its main planning roadmap and to innovate methodologically by proposing indicators involving a qualitative approach. It was coordinated by Didier Desponds and financed by the park’s authority. I co-directed the Mobilities axis of the project.

2015-2019 Airport territories and aircraft noise: which residential mobilities? The project aimed at grasping the emergence of airport territories in the vicinity of major platforms in France, by focusing on the attention given by inhabitants to aircraft noise in their relationship to home and to changing home. It was led by Didier Desponds and financed by ACNUSA (Airport Nuisance Control Authority, a nationwide independent administrative

2013-2017 WHIG: What is governed in Paris and London? This project questioned the changing governance of both global cities. An UMR Géographie-cités team was in charge of questioning the hidden face of this governance under the effect of mobilities. The whole research was coordinated by Patrick Le Galès and the UMR workpackage by Nadine Cattan. It was financed by Université Sorbonne Paris Cité.

2009 MEREV : Circular mobilities between European metropolises and changing daily spaces. This project investigated the mobile practices of individuals travelling between different European metropolises, in particular London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Lisbon.

MSc and (post)doc supervision

MSc theses’ supervision

Supervision of about 15 MSc’s theses per year in the 1st and 2nd year of MSc Geomatics Applied to Urban Studies and Risks (since 2014) and more punctually in TTE and ML MSc of CY Cergy Paris Université (2014-2018).

(Post)doc supervision and related activities

Caroline Bouloc, postdoc associated with the DécaFmob project. [2018 – 2019, 18 months].

Reviewer of Lema Jaber’s doctoral thesis – Milano-Bicocca University. [2022].

Reviewer of Juliana Gonzalez’s doctoral thesis – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. [2022].


Since 2014: Co-director of the MSc Geomatics applied to Urban Studies and Risks at CY Cergy Paris Université (with Damien Masson)

Geography-Planning Bachelor’s courses

  • Urban sociology (2d year)
  • Social and cultural geography (3d year)

MSc Geomatics applied to Urban Studies and Risks’ courses

  • Data analysis (1st year)
  • Urban planning’s policies and actors (1st year)
  • Urban survey project (1st year)
  • Methodology (1st year and 2d year alternatively)
  • Research workshop (2d year)

Since 2022: In charge of international relationships – Department of Geography and Planning at CY Cergy Paris Université



Antoine FLEURY, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, Dimitra KANELLOPOULOU (eds.), 2022, Les espaces publics à l’épreuve des mobilités [Public spaces to the test of mobilities], Presses universitaires de Rennes.

Weiqiang LIN, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY (eds.), 2022, Low-Cost Aviation: Society, Culture and Environment, Elsevier, coll. Contemporary Issues in Air Transport.

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY (ed.), in preparation, Transports and their Places / Les transports et leurs lieux, ISTE-Wiley (English and French versions).

Special issues in peer-reviewed journals

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, Weiqiang LIN, 2021, “Changing Geographies of the Passenger: Heterogeneous Subjects on the Move. Introduction to the Virtual Special Issue”, Journal of Transport Geography, April –

Danièle BELANGER, Nadine CATTAN, Diego COLETTO, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2021, “When migrants produce the city: Everyday negotiations of urban space. Introduction to the Special Section”, The Canadian Geographer, 65, 394-396 –

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2022, “Mobilités : quand les pratiques informelles expliquent la laborieuse transition climatique”, Métropolitiques, [online] –

Nadine CATTAN, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2021, “Street Vending in the Metropolis: Proximity, Distance and Emotions between Migrants and Tourists in Paris”, The Canadian Geographer, 65(4), 410-422 –

Marianne BLIDON, Julien BRACHET, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, Corinne LUXEMBOURG, Gaëlle GILLOT, Alexis SIERRA, 2020, “Des géographes engagés contre la LPPR. Interviews de chercheurs dans le contexte de la future Loi de Programmation Pluriannuelle de la Recherche”, EchoGéo, (51) –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2017, “Position de thèse. Les mobilités à l’épreuve des aéroports”, Géotransports, 8, p. 116-119 –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2017, “How are aeromobilities changing? Reviewing the literature on European airports”, Mobility in History, 8, p. 125-132 –

Sandrine BERROIR, Caroline BOULOC, Nadine CATTAN, Antoine FLEURY, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, Ulysse LASSAUBE, 2016, “La tour Eiffel dans la poche. Informalité et pouvoir dans la construction de la métropole touristique”, L’Espace Politique, 2 September, 29(2) –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2015, “L’hypermobilité : une figure introuvable ? Représentations dominantes et pratiques de déplacement à l’aune des aéroports”, SociologieS, 2 November –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2015, “L’urbanité à l’épreuve des aéroports”, interview carried out by Frédérique Célérier, Avril –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2013, “La catégorie de mobilité naturalisée par les lieux de passage : étude de la publicité à l’aéroport de Roissy-Charles-De-Gaulle”, Regards sociologiques, n°45-46, vol. 1, p. 47-69 –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2013, “The border to the test of mobilities: the example of Paris Charles De Gaulle airport”, Annales de Géographie, (1), March-April, p. 5-27 –– English version on International Edition of “La frontière à l’épreuve des mobilités aériennes : l’exemple de l’aéroport de Paris Charles-De-Gaulle”:

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2013, “Habiter la mobilité : le train comme terrain de réflexion”, L’Information géographique, 75(4), p. 110-124 –

Contributions to edited books

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY (2022), “Cheap Flights from Major Hubs: Aeromobile Experiences of In-betweenness”, in Weiqiang LIN, Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY (eds.) (2022), Low-cost Aviation: Society, Culture and Environment, Elsevier, coll. Contemporary Issues of Air Transport, 99-117.

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2021, “Mobilities in Climate Action Planning: The Challenging of Considering (In)Justices in France’s current policies”, in Brian PETERSEN, Hélène B. DUCROS (eds.), Justice in Climate Action Planning, Springer, coll. Strategies for Sustainability, 277-288 –

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, Juliette MAULAT, 2021, “Mobilities, Transition and Public Action: New Challenges for Investigating Mobile Worlds”, in Nadine CATTAN, Laurent FARET (eds.), Hybrid Spatialities. Transgressive mobilities, Routledge, 236-252

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2021, “(In)visibilité et variabilité du rapport aux altermobilités dans le périurbain”, in Didier DESPONDS, Claire FONTICELLI (eds), Les mutations du périurbain. De l’espace décrié aux territoires désirables ?, Eds Le Manuscrit, coll. Devenirs urbains, p. 151-172.

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2020, “Aéroports”, in GROUPE CYNORHODON (eds.), Dictionnaire critique de l’Anthropocène, CNRS éditions, p. 9-11 – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2020, “Aéroports”, in Bénédicte FLORIN, Anna MADOEUF, Olivier SANMARTIN, Roman STADNICKI et Florence TROIN (eds.), Abécédaire de la ville et de l’urbain au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Presses universitaires de Tours, coll. Villes et territoires, p. 17-18

Caroline BOULOC, Nadine CATTAN and Jean-Baptiste Frétigny, 2019, “Quand les marges mobiles construisent des centralités à éclipse. Migrants et touristes à Paris”, in Xavier Bernier et al. (dir.), Mobilités et marginalité, Rennes, PUR, p. 29-42 – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, Damien MASSON and Samuel RUFAT, 2017, “Cartes sur tables, cartes sur écran”, in Jean-Marc BESSE et Gilles A. TIBERGHIEN (eds.), Opérations cartographiques, ed. Actes Sud / École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage, p. 184-193 – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2016, “Les lieux de la mondialisation au crible des aéroports : la simultanéité des ancrages territoriaux en question”, in Magali REGHEZZA, Cynthia GHORRA-GOBIN (eds.), Mondialisation : concepts, enjeux, échelle, Le Manuscrit, coll. Recherche et Université, p.73-103 – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY (2016), “La conflictualité de la ville en mouvement au regard d’espaces publics métropolitains émergents : les aéroports”, in Didier DESPONDS, Elizabeth AUCLAIR (eds.), La ville conflictuelle. Oppositions – Tensions – Négociations, Le Manuscrit, coll. Devenirs urbains, 141-160 – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY (2012), “Aéroport : non-lieu ou point d’ancrage du Monde ? ”, in Cynthia GHORRA-GOBIN (dir.), Dictionnaire critique de la mondialisation, A. Colin, p. 30-35 – online version

Articles in other journals

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2017, “Globalised Mobilities in Public Airport Space”, Politique internationale, interview with Léo BARNIER, (156), p. 43-51 (version française du numéro) / p. 41-49 (English version) – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2016, “L’aéroport, espace ouvert et fermé”, Questions internationales, (78), March-April, p. 52-58

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2016, “La construction de Paris à l’échelle de son arrière-Monde métropolitain”, Les Cahiers de la Métropole, (5), p. 49-57 – online version

Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2015, “La portée sociale des lieux de passage : éclairage au prisme des aéroports”, Au seul souci de voyager, revue du collège international du voyage, p. 10-16

Nadine CATTAN and Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2011, “Les portes d’entrée de la France et les systèmes territoriaux des flux : état des lieux et problématiques”, Territoires 2040, (3), p. 60-77

Nadine CATTAN and Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY, 2011, “Les portes d’entrée de la France et les systèmes territoriaux des flux : processus et scénarios”, Territoires 2040, (4), p. 67-84

Other collective responsabilities

Since 2022 Member of Métropolitiques journal’s editorial board

Since 2022 Member of the advisory editorial board of Belgeo – the Belgian Journal of Geography

Since 2021 Appointed member of the 23d section (Physical, human, economic and regional geography’s section) of the French National Council of Universities – deputy

Since 2021 Elected member of CY Cergy Paris Université’s disciplinary section for academics

Since 2016 Elected member of CY Cergy Paris Université’s university board and electoral committee

Since 2016 Chair of CY Cergy Paris Université’s SNESUP trade union branch