Towards sustainable urban planning

Date: Upcoming event
Nbr of participants: X people

Language: English

How are the ways of planning a territory transformed with the horizon of sustainable transition?

Spatial planning is the organization of a space to generate positive effects on society (equipment, institutions, heritage, etc.) on various scales. The related procedures are: diagnosis, planning, localization, programming, prospective. Permit applications are the main regulations for controlling land use.

Sustainable urban planning corresponds to the organization of a viable, livable and equitable space, that is co-producted (participative democracy and education). This leads to take into account the related challenges: fight against climate change, preservation of resources, promotion of a social economy, health and well-being for all. This is another normative and ideological story of the city. This approach aims at the quality of life while respecting future generations and current resources.

The principles are linked to:

  • The participation of the population and stakeholders in the territories from the outset of the project
  • Taking into account the articulation of territorial scales
  • The transversality of the approach with a systemic approach (management of water resources, energy, raw materials by cycle, reasoning in ecosystems, economic coherence), in the long term (integrating sensitive and technical, economic dimensions), and implementing a new participative governance (or even multiple partnerships, a transversal urban culture).

Questions arise:

  • The conviction of the municipalities and intermunicipalities involved can be difficult to obtain, but it appears necessary to mobilize land. It will depend on the type of project carried out according to their development strategy, therefore a political will is important, which is currently relative to a sobriety of use of the land and a renaturation of the urban (vegetation, green and blue frames, etc.).
  • The cost for acquiring land can be high depending on the zoning (areas to be urbanized) and its potential (implying property taxes thereafter); as well as the costs related to its development (decontamination of the site, etc.) depending on the type of project.
  • Long-term management and maintenance of secondary networks (including road).
  • The articulation of various territorial scales and the anticipation of future needs (long-term strategy), where the voice of small municipalities with few resources and urban engineering can be weakened. The departmental level can be used to analyze the impacts of the project.

The conflicts are linked to the differences in strategic visions between elected officials and project holders, but also between administrative levels. Thus, the planning, management and location of projects is to be negotiated between the stakeholders.

The challenge is the establishment of territorial co-developments to ensure (private-public) funding and innovation towards more social equity, livability of the territory and economic viability.