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Accueil > Recherches > Thématiques de recherche > Ville durable et territoires

Sustainable cities and territories

par Arancha Sánchez - publié le , mis à jour le

Development of urban ecosystems


The continued increase of urbanized areas in the world poses significant challenges regarding sustainable development, particularly because of the artificialization of the soil and the loss of habitat for many species.


However, the way in which cities are planned and develop themselves, as well as the residents’ lifestyles play a key role in these impacts, and appropriate choices can limit them. Urban development taking into account the ecosystems can also have many positive co-benefits in terms of quality of life and creating economic activities, but also in terms of resilience against the impacts of climate change (floods, heat waves etc.).
Research at CIRED on this theme aims to understand these issues and interactions, and especially to help to create urban planning solutions and innovative urban organizations.


Researchers : Patrice Dumas, Philippe Quirion, Franck Lecocq, Harold Levrel et Vincent Viguié


Transport and mobility

[Content in progress]


Researchers : Vincent Viguié, Amandine Toussaint, Eoin O’Broin

PhD Students : Audrey Berry, Laurent Faucheux et Manon Solignac


Offset policies and local communities


In the era of sustainability, there is no single criterion (like for instance GDP) to assess development dynamics of local communities. Development in a local community can be achieved through different purposes (economic, social, environemental) which are not tightly coupled. Offset policies may offer a valuable means to integrate these heterogeneous targets. For they provide an administrative tool to avoid and limit negative impacts of business projects and contribute to the responsibilization of business firms toward the local community stakeholder.


Business projects may affect natural capital in the local community : enforcing the French “ERC” regulatory sequence (“Eviter” avoiding- “Réduire” mitigating- “Compenser” offsetting) will responsibilize firms about their impacts on the different components of biodiversity.


Business restructuring may affect human capital : the employer has got a “revitalization” obligation and has then to support the creation of a local amount of employment equivalent of the amount of laid off employees.


This offset principle is a controversial one (commodification of nature, “right to destroy” natural or human capital). Nevertheless, there is a great diversity in the way it is carried out (regulation texts but also administrative practices). In many cases it gives rise to original kinds of collective action between business firms, public authorities and experts, that this research axis will investigate.


Researchers : Harold Levrel, Gilles Crague