Administration locale

Note de veille

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement - Territoires, réseaux

La smart city, rupture ou adaptation ?

Après plus de 20 ans d’existence, la smart city paraît désormais un concept banal tant les projets sous ce label sont nombreux et divers ; pas un programme d’ampleur dans le domaine de la ville qui ne se réclame du numérique pour rendre la cité plus efficace, plus sobre, plus proche de ses citoyens et même plus attractive voire compétitive. Ces programmes recouvrent toutefois des réalités bien différentes, liées à la vision et aux moyens des municipalités ; ils intéressent ...

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Bibliography

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

L’Égalité des territoires, une passion française

La réforme territoriale est, en France comme dans la plupart des pays européens, un chantier permanent. L’égalité étant la grande « passion française » (Tocqueville), c’est le thème de l’égalité des territoires qui prédomine en France, et qui n’est qu’une des facettes des débats plus généraux sur l’égalité sociale et politique des citoyens. Les Français aiment à penser que des lieux très différents doivent être traités de manière identique, et ils attendent de l’État qu ...

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Revue

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Towards a Metropolitan World?

Given the difficulties states are having coping with the various current (financial, economic, environmental…) crises at both the national and international levels, attention is increasingly being drawn to the growing scope at the local level for initiatives to attempt to meet the foremost present and future challenges. This is well illustrated by Jean Haëntjens in this issue, when he calls for the implementation of strategic visions in cities to cope with climate problems. Julien Damon reinforces the point in this article, stressing how important the metropolitan level is tending to become globally in the response to both the major and minor problems of individuals. Drawing on various recent publications in the English-speaking world, he shows what underlies this potential “metropolitan revolution” and assesses how prevalent it might also become in France as a result of ongoing local government reorganization. Taking these thoughts further, Julien Damon speculates on the possible emergence in France of “welfare-metropolises” coming gradually to supplant a flagging welfare state.

Futurs d'antan

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

A Brief History of the French Regions, from Serge Antoine to François Hollande

In 2014 a new stage in decentralization was begun by the French government at the request of the President of the Republic. On 2 July, the National Assembly passed a bill on the “new territorial organization of the Republic”, which had already been approved by the Senate. This is the third strand in current decentralization measures, after the law modernizing territorial public action and strengthening metropolises (January 2014) and the law on the delimitation of regions (January 2015). The territorial reorganization envisaged (particularly the merging of regions) has ruffled a few feathers. However, reading this article republished here in “Futures of Yesteryear”, which reminds us how the current map of the regions was initially devised, it is clear that, though there are some obvious reasons for the current boundaries, there is also –as the architect of those boundaries Serge Antoine thought at the time– scope for development and realignments.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Territoires, réseaux

Le Nouvel Égoïsme territorial

En publiant Le Nouvel Égoïsme territorial, Laurent Davezies élargit le champ de sa réflexion. Après avoir décrit les fonctionnement et géographie des mécanismes de redistribution monétaire qui irriguent le développement des territoires à base économique résidentielle, après avoir alerté sur la fragilité d’un processus d’équilibrage et de solidarité qui repose sur le dynamisme des métropoles françaises dans la mondialisation et un niveau de transfert public que les contraintes budgétaires du pays ne semblent pas pouvoir maintenir, l’économiste ...

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Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

L’Égalité des territoires. Une passion française

Avec L’Égalité des territoires, une passion française, Philippe Estèbe interroge les fondements de l’idéologie territoriale française dans ses aspects historique, géographique et politique, ainsi que les défis contemporains qui obligent à les reconsidérer. Son hypothèse liminaire est audacieuse : considérer l’égalité territoriale comme une déclinaison de l’égalité politique et sociale consubstantielle à la République. Partant, l’égalité territoriale dont on connaît la fortune institutionnelle récente, avec la création d’un ministère et d’un commissariat général, constituerait ...

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Tribune européenne

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

An End to France’s Territorial Layer-Cake?

Shortly after forming his government, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls caused something of a stir among French local and regional authorities by announcing, last April, that the number of French regions would be halved in 2017 and by proposing to abolish départements by 2021. Though there is much to be said for this, given France’s territorial complexity, the experience of previous attempts at reform and the way a number of local politicians tend to cling to their powers mean that this new initiative –officially launched in June– is not certain to come to fruition.

However, as Jean-François Drevet shows here, comparing the kinds of territorial division prevailing in France with those in other European countries where municipalities, counties/provinces and regions are concerned, it would be a logical development enabling the country to resemble its European partners more closely in terms of territorial organization. Moreover, such a reform would give scope for some substantial savings –a point not to be ignored in such delicate times for the public finances, even if we should be careful not to overestimate these, as Jean-François Drevet reminds us in the conclusion to his column.

Revue

Territoires, réseaux

Controlling Property Rents: Steering Property Rents, the Key to Urban Policy

According to figures from the Abbé-Pierre Foundation, in 2012 almost nine million people in France were affected by the housing crisis (either without a personal place of abode, living in very difficult or overcrowded housing conditions, unable to pay their monthly rent or having, involuntarily, to live in the homes of others). If to these housing difficulties we add the need on the part of local authorities, particularly urban ones, to take account of the new approach to energy and the environment (the fashionable concept of the “sustainable city”) in a decade-long context of very high land and property prices (as compared with household incomes), then French local communities face a stiff challenge. However, Marc Wiel argues in this article that it is not insurmountable, provided that local institutions and those in charge of sectoral policies relating to housing in the broader sense (urban policies, transport policies, housing aid etc.) cooperate closely, with a view to controlling “property rents”.

Marc Wiel begins by showing how the process of urban development is not under control in France –largely because of the way that “property rents” are formed. He prefers this latter term to that of “increase in housing costs” on the grounds that it isn’t the costs of construction or demography or shortage that explain this price-rise. He then stresses the disadvantages in the fields of housing, transport and spatial planning, of not controlling property rents, together with the collective costs that ensue. Wiel proposes a new conceptual framework for grasping the (crucial) interactions between transport and urbanism and enabling the public authorities to correct the imperfections of the market and to influence the choice of location of the various actors (households, businesses, services etc.). Lastly, he formulates a variety of recommendations aimed at regulating the processes of urban development and spatial planning better and more fairly, through transport, movement and housing policies and by way of more collaborative work on the part of the actors concerned and a reform of the institutions in which they operate.

Analyse prospective

Économie, emploi - Territoires, réseaux

Les finances des collectivités

Il y a tout juste 30 ans et dans les années qui ont suivi, l’acte I de la décentralisation se traduisait par un triple transfert de l’État aux collectivités locales. — De pouvoir : fin du contrôle a priori du préfet et liberté donnée aux collectivités d’élaborer, d’exécuter leur budget et de recourir à l’emprunt, l’État n’exerçant plus qu’un contrôle réglementaire (ou de légalité) a posteriori.— De compétences : collèges, lycées, action sociale, urbanisme, etc ...

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Revue

Foresight and Public Action: Thoughts based on the Greater Lyon Experience

Jean-Loup Molin, who is in charge of strategic monitoring and research in the Forward Planning Directorate of the Urban Community of Lyon, outlines here how practical foresight activity is carried on for the “Greater Lyon” area. After a brief historical review that shows how the structures and practice of such activity have developed within Greater Lyon, he brings out, firstly, the key upstream role of the activities of strategic monitoring and societal analysis and, secondly, the participatory dimension in the development of future urban projects, in order to maintain the connection between forward planning and the potential beneficiaries of its recommendations. Starting out from these multiple contributions of foresight to the institutions of Greater Lyon and those who use the area, Jean-Loup Molin widens his analysis to the contributions it makes to public action in the broad sense. He is conscious of the tensions generated by the change that is occurring today and formulates five major proposals intended to confront the challenges likely to arise for forward planning and promote a highly open attitude towards it: defending the conditions for deep thinking; adopting a non-sequential approach and enhancing planning practices; making the connection with the operational dimension; re-connecting with the sphere of values; putting the management of public action back at the heart of forward planning activity – ideas all aimed at preserving deep analysis in a world characterized by accelerating change and increasing complexity.

Note de veille

Territoires, réseaux

Vers des collectivités entrepreneuriales ?

Le service statistique du Commissariat général au développement durable actait en décembre 2010 une augmentation de la gestion en régie des services de l’eau par les communes. Le signe d’une volonté de reprise en main directe des services publics par les collectivités ?

Revue

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

Towards New Inter-territorial Regulations: A Foresight Study of Territorial Reform in France

In late 2010, the French parliament passed a new law reforming territorial organization, following an (umpteenth) government-sponsored debate. The implementation of this reform is to be staggered up to late 2014. Given the time that will elapse before it is fully implemented, it is not yet possible to assess its effects concretely, but it is improbable, judging from this article, that it will produce a genuine simplification of the territorial organization of France, even though such a simplification is regularly advocated and clearly very necessary. Hence the importance of continued foresight thinking on the subject.
This is what Martin Vanier and Pierre-Jean Lorens propose here, on the basis of what they call “the inter-territorial hypothesis”, which consists in thinking not in terms of institutional and decisional levels or fields of jurisdiction, but in terms of active links that can be established between all the existing levels of territorial authority and jurisdiction. The point is to attempt to determine the system which might, over a period of one or two decades, link together all French levels of authority. To do so, the authors present the results of thinking and studies to which they have contributed in recent years, and the four scenarios that have come out of their exploratory territorial foresight study, entitled: “the Metropolises, New Territorial Powers”, “the Regions, Major Implementers of Inter-territoriality”, “Low Intensity Inter-territoriality” and “Networks, Masters of Territories”. So many lines of thinking that will, without doubt, fuel future debates on a recurrent and crucial subject, both nationally and from a European perspective.

Forum

Économie, emploi - Territoires, réseaux

Taxation and Sustainable Development: A Missed Opportunity in the Reform of French Local Business Taxes

The Finance Law of 2010 abolished the taxe professionnelle (TP), the system of local business taxes that previously applied to all companies operating in France. As the Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment stressed, this tax, long subject to criticism from both Right and Left, hit productive investments even before they created wealth, and it penalized companies based in France.
The TP has now been replaced by a “Territorial Economic Contribution” that has two components to it: on the one hand, a “Company Property Contribution”, based on property values and, on the other, a “Contribution on Company Added Value” set at the national level. This reform still gives rise to lively debate in France, particularly on account of its consequences for the autonomy and resources of local communities.
But this is not the central argument of Guillaume Sainteny’s article. He is, rather, taken aback at the way the reform was introduced and, in particular, at its having totally left out of account the issue of sustainable development, despite this having been declared a national priority at the Grenelle Environmental Summit. Sainteny shows that, quite apart from the fact that the environmental impact of the reform does not appear to have been assessed, it fails to integrate — either through exemptions or incentives — the tax measures designed to deter or promote activities on the basis of their environmental consequences.
While stressing the difficulties of any fiscal reform, Sainteny ponders the French administration’s inability to reform itself to take on board what is presented as a national priority.

Revue

Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

The Challenge of High Bandwidth for Local Authorities

French local authorities are currently doing more and more to improve their communications infrastructures, as can be seen from the figure published in January 2007 by the Association of Cities and Local Authorities for Electronic Communications: 448 million Euros were invested in public open-access networks in 2006. But what kind of initiatives are these? There are as many forms of intervention as there are local authorities, and this diversity is a good thing.
Nevertheless, digital technologies are such an important factor in people's everyday lives, in local development and planning, and in a region's competitiveness that it would be suicidal for local authorities to make commitments in this field without a great deal of prior strategic thinking, especially given the wide range of actors involved who are powerful and in competition with each other. How can the local authorities find a way, between the state (the monopoly provider in the past), the new generation of providers and the equipment manufacturers, to create local public access to very high bandwidth networks without themselves having to finance investments that should really be the responsibility of the other actors just mentioned?
Agnès Huet and Pascal Buléon offer their view of this important issue. They do not avoid discussing either the technical debates or the selfish behaviour of some of the actors who try to make the local authorities provide funding without giving them any decision-making capacity. Hardly a week passes without some spectacular initiative somewhere in the world to improve local digital access, such as the free wi-fi offered in San Francisco by Google, but it is obvious that in this race, there will be winners and losers. The authors plead the case here that the losers in France should not be the local authorities and, ultimately, the users.

Bibliography

Institutions - Territoires, réseaux

« 2000-2006 : quelles politiques régionales ? »

Ce dossier préparé par la revue Pouvoirs locaux de mars 1999 fait le point sur la nouvelle donne pour les administrations régionales françaises au travers de deux articles. Le premier, d'Alain Faure et Andy Smith, analyse l'impact des changements intervenus dans la politique communautaire de l'Union européenne sur l'espace politique local - réforme de la politique agricole commune et des fonds structurels, en particulier. Quels sont les critères d'éligibilité à recevoir une aide communautaire ? Comment rendre ...

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Institutions

Les Collectivités locales et l’économie nationale

Jacques Méraud signe ici un ouvrage richement documenté, s'adressant autant aux spécialistes des questions locales qu'aux étudiants ou aux profanes. Il commence par une présentation détaillée des administrations locales françaises actuelles, de leurs activités et de leur financement. Il les resitue dans la comptabilité nationale et détermine leur poids dans l'économie du pays. Ensuite, il fait le bilan de 35 ans de gestion locale (de 1959 à 1994), en comparant les méthodes des collectivités à celles de ...

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Économie, emploi - Institutions

Le fédéralisme financier. Perspectives de microéconomie spatiale

L'étude de Guy Gilbert s'inscrit au sein de la problématique de l'organisation territoriale, de la fourniture des biens collectifs, des conditions dans lesquelles les collectivités territoriales se font mutuellement concurrence pour offrir des services publics ou attirer des entreprises. L'auteur reconsidère les problèmes classiques du fédéralisme financier à la lumière des apports récents de la microéconomie : au fédéralisme fonctionnel de Musgrave-Oates a succédé progressivement une analyse centrée sur les comportements stratégiques des acteurs. Guy Gilbert recense ...

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Institutions

Histoire de la décentralisation française

Tout en éclairant les débats qui ont accompagné, depuis le début du XIXe siècle, le lent processus d'émergence des pouvoirs locaux en France, et en analysant les étapes d'une révolution inachevée, L'Histoire de la décentralisation française montre comment la République a su peu à peu reconnaître aux collectivités locales le droit de décider localement, sans pour autant remettre en cause l'organisation hiérarchique et centralisée de l'État. Jean-Marc Ohnet, directeur général de l'Institut de la ...

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Institutions - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Bien gérer votre commune aujourd’hui pour le XXIe siècle

Dans le cadre de ses actions de sensibilisation pour la protection de l'environnement en France et la promotion du développement durable, le Comité 21 publie un guide pratique sur le développement durable local. Cet ouvrage, offert à tous les maires de France, a pour ambition de mettre à leur disposition à la fois des suggestions et des éléments de référence utiles pour la mise en œuvre d'actions concrètes. Il a en effet été convenu, dans la ligne des ...

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