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Laisse béton ? La responsabilité de l’action publique dans l’artificialisation des sols : l’exemple des zones d’activités économiques en France et en Allemagne

Abstract : Land take designates the transformation of forests, natural or agricultural land into other land uses (housing, economic activity, transport infrastructure, leisure spaces). It is fostered by urban sprawl and is a major pressure on ecosystems ; it notably reduces the stock of open spaces available in the future and causes biodiversity loss through the destruction and fragmentation of natural habitats. In France, about 10 % of the national territory has already been consumed by land take and this percentage increases by one point every 10 years.The French government recently announced an ambitious objective of achieving « no net land take » by 2050. Yet policies to reduce urban sprawl are not new, but have failed to reduce it significantly. In order to understand why, this thesis analyses the decision processes resulting in land take, as well as socio-economic and institutional factors influencing them, through the example of business parks development in France and Germany. Our main hypothesis is that public action plays a major role in those decision processes and is partly responsible for land take.Part 1 discusses the concept of land take and summarizes current debates regarding its definition. We then provide a thorough analysis of existing data about the state and evolution of land take in France and Germany.Part 2 discusses how previous works treated our research question. We did a systematic review of scientific articles investigating the determinants of land take and urban sprawl. Some drivers are well-identified while other remain to be fully understood ; specifically, the effect of public policies is often mentionned and considered as important, but rarely analyzed in detail. We propose a combination of theoretical approaches that could help to better account for the role of public action in urban development and land take processes.Part 3 investigates those land take processes in detail through case studies of business parks development in the communities of Roissy and Carnelle (France) and Leipzig (Germany). We chose to focus of business parks so that we could precisely study the system of actors and decision processes, since those are different for each specific use of land take (housing, businesses, transportation etc.). Business parks are responsible for one fifth on land take in France, with a rapid growth and very space-consuming urban forms.Our case studies show that public action is omnipresent at almost every stage of the business park value chain. We analyze which decision processes, which compromises and interactions between public and private actors are driving the high land consumption of business parks, and how they can be influenced by institutional factors. Although there are differences between Germany and France, we find similar drivers in both cases, as well as similar problems in limiting land take. We conclude this thesis by identifying three major institutionnal issues impeding the reduction of land take : cost differences between urban extension and urban renewal, competition between local authorities, and the procedural efficiency of regulation.
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Alice Colsaet. Laisse béton ? La responsabilité de l’action publique dans l’artificialisation des sols : l’exemple des zones d’activités économiques en France et en Allemagne. Economies et finances. Université Paris-Saclay, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021UPASB043⟩. ⟨tel-03650635⟩

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