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DES FORÊTS DANS LA VILLE - Analyse du processus d'intégration par une approche territorialisée, exemples de trois agglomérations moyennes européennes : Grenoble, Limoges et Swindon

Abstract : Since the Industrial Revolution, European societies have evolved through a frantic urban development. This disruption of both spatial and societal European territory has brought about the questioning of the relationship between societies (which have become mainly urban) to space in general, and even more precisely, to the environment. The inter-penetration of the city and the country on large portions of the territory, enhanced by the rapid development of individual mobility, has problematized the relationship between the two spaces, rendering secular divisions obsolete. The useful productivity of the forest disappears as other urban functions of the forest are privileged. These new uses of the forest, which have come about on periurban areas, are inspired by the valorization of nature within society. In this context, periurban forested spaces, symbols of "nature" which have long been considered as empty, are now new sources of interest. The choice to work in this European context stems from an accumulation of global characteristics (which justify a comparative study) and regional specificities (which lead to pertinent conclusions based on the approach used here). However, confronted with the impossibility of conducting an exhaustive study, we have narrowed the focus to a French-English comparison, which within its regional diversity reveals socially dynamic communes. In fact, the focus of the thesis on medium-sized cities stems from a double argument: on one hand, there is little preexisting critical work in this area as most publications treat large metropolises. On the other hand, the spatial and demographic characteristics of these territories imply opportunities and obligations to respond to the renewed socio-environmental stakes. Firstly, we have attempted to understand the reasons for the redefinition of the place of the forest within periurban spaces. Across this analysis of the city-forest relationship, from antiquity to the emergence of recent expectations, we have emphasized the importance of the hygienist current. This current has developed in reaction to the rapid development of a modernity which has been progressively considered as noxious. The consequence of such a turning point is the apparition of new appropriation methods and new approaches to the forest as an object within the perimeter of the city's influence. Following this historical and scientific contextualisation of the subject, our second objective is to analyze in specific geographic contexts how the spatial relationship between the city and the forest can have an effect on the surface evolution of the forests and on the redefinition of the functions attributed to it. In order to do this, we have conducted a diachronic study on different selected sites according to a spatial gradient of integration into the urban. The study was carried out with the help of GIS based on a series of successive aerial photos. This analysis enables us to differentiate the risks and the potentials of the different periurban zones, from the densely urban to the loosely periurban. Finally, the last part of the thesis deals with the results of investigations and interviews which were conducted in order to better understand the ways in which people interpret the role of the periurban forest. The interpretation seems to be effected not only by global constants but also, paradoxically, is strongly conditioned by the local context. The analysis of the uses of the forest and the related discourse show a wide variation in the perception of the space. The testimonies demonstrate clear-cut divisions along sectorial approaches: environmental, social, or economic. This information enables us to define the parameters of the current politics surrounding the periurban forest and the need to put into place, in a truly multifunctional and participative global fashion, new forms of forestry management.
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Julien Dellier. DES FORÊTS DANS LA VILLE - Analyse du processus d'intégration par une approche territorialisée, exemples de trois agglomérations moyennes européennes : Grenoble, Limoges et Swindon. Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Université de Limoges, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-00593232⟩

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