Ecological Planning and Soil Usage in France

A Paradigm Shift and a Shock Wave


This article is published in Futuribles journal no.455, juillet-août 2023

This issue is coming out at the very beginning of summer, when many French regions have already been experiencing the vagaries of a changing climate for several months (droughts and early season fires etc.), reminding us that climate change is a reality and that action has to be taken to curb it. The European Union and France have begun an ambitious ecological transition, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050. Within that framework, one of the declared objectives is to reduce the de-naturing of soils — so-called ‘Net Zero Artificialization’ or ZAN. We have acquired an awareness of the fundamental role played by soils in the management of ecological and climate disruption, which is essential, but, as Jean Haëntjens shows here, soil usage covers many sectors of activity and public policy areas. This means that ecological planning on soil matters represents a real paradigm shift that will open up new opportunities for regional and local authorities, but will also meet resistance and opposition from users (farmers, building firms, energy producers, households etc.). This article lays out the various issues inherent in the ecological transition as it is applied to land and to soil management, and the perspectives that ensue in the different ecological planning scenarios (those envisaged in France by ADEME, the ecological transition agency). This is a complex equation and its resolution will probably not be able to satisfy all parties concerned…

#Agriculture #Économie foncière #Habitat #Transition écologique #Urbanisme