Closed sessions > Landscape under Transition

These sessions have only invited speakers (not any call for session) but they are open to public participation, especially for round tables and debates. In certain sessions, a special issue will ask for external contributors.

• Landscape under Transition

Chairs: Marianne Cohen (Paris-Sorbonne University) and Marie Guibert (French Ministry of environment)

The topic of the session will aim to answer the following questions:

  • How can landscape act as a contributor to the overall transition of territories (especially the democratic transition issue)?
  • From this perspective, how can landscape and democracy contribute to quality of life?

First of all, the topics under study will be discussed in a round table. In a classical session, six projects will then be presented with various stakeholders, scales and regions. At the end of the session all the participants will be asked to react to the presentations. Finally, a summary will be drawn up and the future key leads for the development of this program will be clarified.

The outcome of this session will be a common paper intended to help the Ministry in the development of an ecological and solidarity transition which will contribute to the establishment of a policy for rural territories and enrich the final publication of the research and action program Landscape, Territories, Transitions.

This session will be extended during the fieldtrip Landscape, a tool for learning.


Tuesday, Clermont-Ferrand, 14:00-18:30

The session is focused on the following issues:

How landscape can be a contributor to the overall transition of the territories? And especially the democratic transition issue? In this perspective how landscape and democracy can participate in the quality of life?

Opening speech on the links between landscape, democracy and well-being, Yves Luginbühl 

The "Landscapes, Territories, Transitions" research program is the result of a long history of landscape research programs in the Ministry of Environment and Ecology – currently the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Solidarity. France has indeed been the only country in Europe to set up such programmes, since 1998, in successive phases, apart from Austria which had a landscape research programme in the 1990s. These programmes, with substantial funding, have made it possible to structure a scientific community that has brought new knowledge on landscapes, particularly European landscapes, with the "Landscape and sustainable development" programme between 2003 and 2010, which was the only research programme with a European dimension.
The new programme, "Landscapes, Territories, Transitions" unfortunately does not have the same funding and the same European dimension. Nevertheless, it has a research/action vocation, enabling territories to reflect on their future and to take action to ensure transitions in various fields: agriculture, tourism, territorial development, energy, etc. By transition, we can understand the following definition: "Degree or intermediate state by which the passage from one state of things to another is made", "Particular phase of the evolution of a society, where it encounters more and more difficulties, internal or external, to reproduce the economic and social system on which it is based and begins to reorganize itself, more or less quickly and more or less violently on the basis of another system which, in turn, becomes the general form of the new conditions of existence". This definition is interesting in several respects because it enables the various transitions, including political transitions, to interact with prospective reflection on the exercise of democracy. Interaction and adjustment will be the key words of this introductory communication. They will lead us to examine the ways in which transitions develop and are implemented: what modes of sharing, what means and, in particular, what social forces can be mobilized to ensure transitions that enable every citizens to find their own place ?

In the current context of the rise of populisms in Europe, we will ask the question of the exercise of democracy, its scale of implementation, the actors to mobilize as well as the knowledge to gather. This will lead us to engage in a prospective reflection on responsibility and ethics, which are the fundamental principles of shared political decision-making between territorial actors.

 Presentation of the projects 

How landscape can contribute to the overall transition of the territories?

• “Inhabited valleys”: fostering transitions through landscape in the Eure department. Cyril BLONDEL, University of Luxembourg / Department of geography – Patrick MOQUAY, ENSP / Larep

The many valleys of the Eure department (a rural area located West from the Paris region) have suffered industrial decline, as well as concentration of new settlements and agricultural development on the plateaus. This change of development pattern resulted in many abandoned places, and a commercial and demographic decline of the villages located inside the valleys. The “Inhabited valleys” initiative intends to give a new impulse in the way(s) the transition of these valleys and their villages is locally approached and conceived. Local institutions are invited to define a specific territorial development strategy, of which landscape should be the basis. The hypothesis is that landscape may constitute 1) an adequate entry to identify local potentials, 2) a useful – and even potentially powerful – tool to allow the people to enter the discussions on the desired transitions and initiate the debate on development strategies, and 3) a motivating target – defining the landscape that people want to live in, then mobilize the concerned actors to make this become real. Our role as researchers is to accompany and observe this program, which is implemented in three volunteer valleys.

 • Bringing landscape at home: burning firewood in the era of biomass and renewable energy – Olivier LEROY, LADYSS – Etienne GRESILLON, LADYSS

Burning firewood is one of the oldest heating methods used by humans since the dawn of time. This process has forged specific relationships between humans and trees, shaping landscapes in ways that are still visible today.In the era of "wood fuel" and biomass as well as global, European, and national injunctions to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, in favor of renewable energy sources, is wood burning still relevant? Is it local? Can firewood bring societies closer to the forests, country groves or rural fields from which they evolved? Based on a research conducted as part of a call for expressions of interest “Landscapes, Territories and Transitions,” in the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse PNR (Regional Nature Park), we offer various responses to these questions. The first part of our presentation will focus on the production volumes of wood and  on the heat produced by logging at the national level. The second part will use local practices (173 questionnaires and 66 interviews) to explain how wood is distributed in the PNR. Does it come from local forests? Does it help residents to feel “rooted” in their landscapes? What landscaping practices does firewood produce?

• Reversible town planning in AnjouChloé BRUNEAU, Hamosphère coopération  – Vincent BOUVIER, Agrocampus Ouest

We suggest to experiment the reversibility of urban planning and the cooperation in the rural territories of the Mauges (Southwest of Anjou). The landscape of bocage of La Boissière-sur-Evre (former municipality now gathered to the new municipality of Montrevault-sur-Evre) strongly evolved to welcome new inhabitants and arable land is threatened by an increasingly pressing urbanization. To promote a virtuous transition, the co-operative of collective interest (SCIC) Hamosphère initiated a reflection with the inhabitants, the elected representatives and Agrocampus Ouest (School of the landscape of Angers) about the future of the municipality.This work contributed to define projects as:

    • - Experiment reversible urban planning and regulatory innovation to protect arable grounds (Operation of Arrangement and Programming "Reversible" with a Zoning URj in the PLUi: Reversible Urbanizable Zone on Garden),
    • - Create a local cooperative of services,
    • - Test "Place making" to requalify the public place in a flexible way,
    • - Propose reversible adapted housing to allow the seniors to stay in the municipality (village passerelle) without sacrificing the vegetable gardens that surround thecenter-village.

And especially the democratic transition issue ?

Landscape politics through singularities and territorial projects, case study: the Grand Site de France of Bibracte Mont-Beuvray in the Morvan Parc Naturel Régional (Burgundy)Karine BASSET, Institut d’urbanisme de Grenoble / LARHRA / labex ITEM – Caroline DARROUX, labex – Vincent GUICHARD, Bibracte EPCC – Chiara PIAI, University of Savoie-Mont Blanc, labex ITEM – Olivier THIÉBAUT, Parc naturel régional du Morvan

Since 2013, the territory of the Grand Site de France (GSF) of Bibracte Mont-Beuvray has been the subject of an action-research project which, in support of the implementation of the commitments made by the leaders of the GSF towards the ministry in charge of landscape policy, is interested in the modalities and effects of the labelling process, in tension between the liberal injunction of standing out and the concern of the leaders of the GSF to locally build a territorial project with a "holistic" aim based on the transversal stake of the landscape, with the implementation of an adapted governance. This research is conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers in the humanities and social sciences within the consortium (labex) Innovation et Territoires de Montagne (ITEM). While the current trend is towards the singularity market, research conducted by ITEM suggests that the politicization of medium mountain territories through singularity is a self-sustainable and coherent alternative with resilience on a global scale, regenerating the institutional capacities for "bottom-up" policy implementation. Our contribution will mainly consist in specifying the conditions of this politicization from below, in view of the experience lived with the actors of the territory of the Grand Site.

How landscape and democracy can contribute to the quality of life?

The Ecological-cluster project of Perignat-sur-Allier, a mean to boost landscape and ecological transition dynamics in a peri-urban areaClaire PLANCHAT , UMR Territoires / AgroParisTech / Vous Etes D’Ici – Armelle CARON, UMR Territoires / AgroParisTech

The French green network (Trame Verte et Bleue) passed in law 7 years ago, is one of the main policy tools for boosting ecological transition dynamics at the local level to favor biodiversity conservation. Green corridors must be identified by local governments in their land use plans and their effective management must be negotiated with the private or public land owners or users. Furthermore according to the ecological territorial solidarity required to reach the biodiversity conservation targets, the implementation of the green network could enforce inter-communal positive cooperation. This challenge is particularly crucial in peri-urban areas where landscape and biodiversity conservation contribute to the quality of life, a crucial element of their attractiveness and development.

The objectives or our communication is to present the results of a research action implemented with the support of the French ministry of ecological transition and social solidarity and the community of Pérignat sur Allier - located in the peri-urban area of Clermont-Ferrand close to the regional nature park of the Livradois-Forez. Different actions have been taking in order to assist the integration of the project of creation of an ecological cluster -based on the ecological restoration of quarries located in the Allier river- in larger ecological transition dynamics. The experimentation that have been implemented were based on the use of landscape components at different spatial and territorial scales. They were designed to favor the involvement of the local stakeholders according to an ecological democracy perspective.

Panel discussion  : Paola Branduini, Richard Raymond, Marc Antrop, chaired by Marianne Cohen 

Field questions

Conclusion : The contribution of landscape research to public policy (Marie Guibert, Bas Pedroli, conditional) 


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