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Based on a theoretical reflection on the concept of sustainable development, the work done at IGEAT in this domain focuses in particular on “greening” production and consumption, the roles of consumers, and the incentives and policies in this area.
The research conducted at IGEAT in this area aims at identifying the characteristics of different types of territory, at examining their organisation and understanding their functioning. Often these are seen from the perspective of operation, orientation and aid to decision-making by public or private actors, for instance as regards the location of economic activities, the restructuring of distribution or transport networks, and the impact of certain activities on the territory.
In this field of research, of crucial importance today, IGEAT proposes first of all a fine socio-political approach to the contribution of household energy consumption to climate change. Research is being done as well on adaptation to climate change, both in Europe and in developing countries, comparing the political and practical orientations of the relevant actors.
Generally speaking, the urban studies carried out at IGEAT are aimed at gaining better understanding of the logic of social production of urban spaces in Europe, according to a twofold comparative perspective: in both time and space. Close attention is paid as well to intra-urban socio-spatial inequalities.
Two principal issues are addressed in this area: the evaluation of environmental or other policies in terms of sustainability, using relevant indicators; the measurement of the socio-economic and environmental impact of implanting new activities and infrastructures (impact assessment).
The research conducted by IGEAT in this area focuses on the way environmental and territorial policies are formulated, the measures and tools adopted by these policies, and their effects. They also examine the impact of sectoral policies on the environment and the landscape.
In this cross-disciplinary domain, the work done at IGEAT seeks to question the relationships between the social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and more particularly as regards the social impact of environmental policies and of socio-economic inequalities in terms of energy.
IGEAT has at its disposal a wide range of expertise in the interpretation and understanding of spatio-temporal structures of territorial density under demographic pressure, both in Europe and in Africa (urban growth, migration of refugee populations, seaside tourism, etc.), based on teledetection data (aerial photographs and satellite images in high and very high resolution).
Several publications at IGEAT were devoted to the identification of landscapes, to the environmental and social processes that formed them, to the associated representations and to their management. Significant attention is also paid to the interpretation of landscape for both tourist and pedagogical purposes.
In the field of tourism, IGEAT conducts research, from a systemic and interdisciplinary perspective, into the interaction of tourism with territorial and social dynamics. The logic of production of tourist areas, the process of valorisation of tourist resources and heritage sites, and more generally, the role of tourist actors, constitute the principal research topics.
The Institute has been carrying out research on transport for a long time. Those works are part of a framework considering environmental and territorial impacts induced by transport. The mains fields covered are urban transport policy; dynamics and liberalisation processes of air and rail transport, air/rail competition, and the relationships between freight transport, logistics and new spatial patterns.