Area 3: Risk-tested planning practices and networks

Today's crises and uncertainties can lead to ruptures and mutations, but also to new opportunities for planning practices and decision-making processes, particularly when it comes to anticipating the different phases of risk management (prevention, crisis, reconstruction). Against this backdrop, Focus Area 3 examines changes in practices implemented by public and private players, associations, elected representatives and local residents. These are considered in a broad spectrum (natural risks, risks impacting people's mobility and supply chains, and project risks).

The subjects of development projects and networks. The development projects studied may be infrastructures, multifunctional projects or community facilities. Networks are considered from the angle of infrastructures, services and control networks (with a particular focus on transport and logistics networks).

1. Research questions

Axis 3 responds to the lack of research on planning practices and risk-tested networks, by taking into account both the risks induced by infrastructure and equipment projects, and risk management by network players and logistics and transport services.dite, both the risks induced by infrastructure and equipment projects and risk management by those involved in networks and logistics and transport services. Several research questions underpin the work in this area.

Natural hazards and post-disaster reconstruction

Reconstruction in an emergency situation often leaves no time for the development of a more resilient territorial reconstruction project. However, the "post-disaster" period seems to offer favourable conditions for the operational implementation of actions aimed at achieving greater territorial resilience in the long term. This key period should therefore be given its rightful place in regional planning, and used to better cope with future events, and to avoid what is often an identical reconstruction. However, the post-disaster reconstruction phase remains little studied (scientific studies, feedback on the reconstruction process) and poorly supervised (technical doctrine, legislative framework). An analysis of post-disaster reconstruction management strategies should provide a better understanding of the obstacles and levers to "better reconstruction".

Project risks and opportunities

Project risks include classic project management risks (financial, delays, etc.), but also little-studied risks such as the environmental risk of the project, or the risk of appeals or changes in regulations for development, urban planning or infrastructure projects. The research consists of formalizing the risks for different projects in Europe, and analyzing the process of identifying, constructing, negotiating, controlling and instrumentalizing these risks by all stakeholders (elected representatives, associations, public and private project owners, the State, local residents, etc.). Opportunities are also examined, such as the formulation of new options or strategies (heritage development, densification, urban regeneration) in a context that is both neoliberal and protective of the environment. The formalization of these new practices is based on a comparative and global approach, and enables planning theories to be discussed.

Perceptions and representations of risk

Risk perception is a variable that differs from one individual to another in a given situation. The aim here is to analyze how territorial issues (environmental, social, economic, etc.) brought to light by a transport infrastructure or development project may be perceived, and to understand how risk is perceived by individuals.) revealed by a transport infrastructure or development project can be perceived, and to understand the consequences of these constructed risks: 1) for the decision-making process, 2) for the project, which can be modified, and 3) for project management.

Risk management

Putting risk management into practice necessarily involves coordination between individuals and organizations. But how can we coordinate actors with interests that don't necessarily converge, in the context of the uncertainty inherent in crises and, more broadly, in risk management in the field?In this context, we can design strategic scenarios to assess the territorial, social and environmental consequences of risk situations.

The originality of our approach lies in the absence of research on these topics. Project risks associated with development operations are little studied in the international literature on geography, economics or planning. Geography deals in particular with technological and natural risks. Economics has focused in particular on risk allocation between contract partners. The literature in economics and management sciences indicates that players must coordinate in times of crisis, but does not specify the organizational modalities.

2. Approaches used, scientific obstacles

The aim is to deepen our understanding of the concepts of opportunity, risk and uncertainty by placing them in the broader perspective of development and urban planning strategies, in conjunction with transport infrastructures and public and private players. These strategies may concern the environment, economic development, urban development, social issues, heritage preservation, etc.

The post-disaster reconstruction phase, for its part, poses particular scientific challenges in terms of access to before-and-after data, both in terms of the spatial materialization of the development and the development strategy.

Finally, revealing the ways in which players coordinate their activities before, during and after crises requires an understanding of their thinking patterns, which often lie beneath the surface and remain unspoken.

3. Expected results

Expected results include the formalization of innovative practices in terms of stakeholder coordination, anticipation and feedback, as well as risk analysis, construction and negotiation, and the identification of new opportunities.

They can be used to discuss planning theories (strategic, flexible, collaborative). They also aim to shed new light on coordination methods in times of crisis, notably in supply chain risk management.

Decision-making support for public players can also be provided.