BVD - Bâtiments et villes durables

multidisciplinary assessment and environmental improvement of neighborhoods – EUREQUA

Multidisciplinary Assessment and Environmental Requalification of neighborhoods

The research question is: «How to bring forth a conception of the environmental quality of living that combines a renewed reflection on a) the materiality of the urban environment, b) sensitive and social approaches of relationship to the environment? «

Questioning with a radical interdisciplinary approach the issues and methods of environmental re-qualification of neighbourhoods.

The EUREQUA project questions the implications of the environmental improvement of urban life at the neighbourhood level. The scientific objectives of the project are: <br />1) To understand –and model- the interference between different parameters of the physical environment, in connection with certain practices of people. The physical characterization of neighbourhoods focuses on microclimate, noise and air quality, three parameters closely correlated to the notions of nuisance or level of comfort for the inhabitants, and also «soft targets« relatively new in the field of urban regeneration. <br />2) To explore the «subjective« dimension of the environmental quality, based on perceptions and representations, using the notion of «ambiances«. We take into consideration the relationship to living environment and life place, both in its social and political aspects. <br />3) To combine the results of interdisciplinary research in order to produce a decision -making tool for policy makers. <br />

The EUREQUA project adopts an original methodological approach that relies on a multidisciplinary team involving geographers, sociologists, atmospheric physicists, acousticians and architects, in collaboration with officials of urban living. The team works on three neighbourhoods in Paris, Toulouse and Marseilles. The first phase of the project led to the identification and choose (based on specific criteria across disciplines) relevant neighbourhoods, namely those with rehabilitation («re-qualification”) projects and specific environmental issues. The concept of environmental quality of life is then addressed by combining approaches from different scientific traditions:
(i) A geographical and social approach mobilizing techniques including social survey to understand the logic involved in the construction of the concept of environmental quality and its perception. People, technicians, and elected other officials of the living will be surveyed. Field studies will also help to mobilize social actors who will be involved at several stages of research.
(ii) An approach based on physical phenomena impacting living quality (noise, traffic, air quality, microclimate), their interactions and impacts associated with certain uses. It will combine an experimental campaign (in conjunction with the surveys) and integrated modelling.

As part of an operational perspective to help the public action, the project aims ultimately to develop and test a participatory mechanism to generate and evaluate scenarios of environmental improvement of a neighbourhood. Participatory workshops (residents and officials) will contribute to identify in each district expectations and proposals that will be taken into account by the professionals involved in the project (Agency Lion) to generate scenarios of (re) development . Scenarios will then be evaluated based on the integrated modelling by quantifying the impacts of (re) developments on the outdoor ambience. The approach will be finally formalized in a methodological handbook for decision makers for assessing and improving neighbourhoods environmental quality.

The project is in its second year (total duration of 4 years). The human and social science (HSS) diagnostics of the neighbourhoods are completed. We are now beginning the crucial stage that is to conduct field campaigns that combine measures (in urban climatology, acoustics, and air pollution) and surveys (questionnaires) in the three selected neighbourhoods. This experimental protocol called «instrumented and commented walks« was implemented in June 2013 on the Marseille study area. It will be applied by the end of 2014 on the other two sites in Paris and Toulouse.

Project in progress.

The EUREQua project (multidisciplinary assessment and environmental improvement of neighborhoods) questions the implications of the environmental improvement of urban life at the neighborhood level. It adopts an original methodological approach that relies on a multidisciplinary team involving geographers, sociologists, atmospheric physicists, acousticians and architects, in collaboration with officials of urban living. The research question is:

"How to bring forth a conception of the environmental quality of living that combines a renewed reflection on a) the materiality of the urban environment, b) sensitive and social approaches of relationship to the environment? "

The scientific objectives are:

1) To understand –and model- the interference between different parameters of the physical environment, in connection with certain practices of people. The physical characterization of neighborhoods focuses on microclimate, noise and air quality, three parameters closely correlated to the notions of nuisance or level of comfort for the inhabitants, and also "soft targets" relatively new in the field of urban regeneration.
2) To explore the "subjective" dimension of the environmental quality, based on perceptions and representations, using the notion of "ambiances". We take into consideration the relationship to living environment and lifeplace, both in its social and political aspects.
3) To combine the results of interdisciplinary research in order to produce a decision -making tool for policy makers.

The team will work on three neighborhoods in Paris, Toulouse and Marseilles, cities already invested by the different project partners. The first phase of the project is to identify (based on specific criteria across disciplines) relevant areas, namely those with rehabilitation ("re-qualification”) projects and specific environmental issues.

The concept of environmental quality of life will be addressed by combining approaches from different scientific traditions:

(i) A geographical and social approach mobilizing techniques including social survey to understand the logic involved in the construction of the concept of environmental quality and its perception. People, technicians, and elected other officials of the living will be surveyed. Field studies will also help to mobilize social actors who will be involved at several stages of research.
(ii) An approach based on physical phenomena impacting living quality (noise, traffic, air quality, microclimate), their interactions and impacts associated with certain uses. It will combine an experimental campaign (in conjunction with the surveys) and integrated modeling.

As part of an operational perspective to help the public action, the project aims ultimately to develop and test a participatory mechanism to generate and evaluate scenarios of environmental improvement of a neighborhood. Participatory workshops (residents and officials) will contribute to identify in each district expectations and proposals that will be taken into account by the professionals involved in the project (Agency Lion) to generate scenarios of (re) development . Scenarios will then be evaluated based on the integrated modeling by quantifying the impacts of (re) developments on the outdoor ambience. The approach will be finally formalized in a methodological handbook for decision makers for assessing and improving neighbourhoods environmental quality.

Project coordinator

Madame HAOUES-JOUVE Sinda (Laboratoire public)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

Ateliers Lion ATELIERS LION ASSOCIES
IAU-IdF INSTITUT D' AMENAGEMENT ET D'URBANISME DE LA REGION IDF (IAU IDF)
LAVUE CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE - DELEGATION REGIONALE ILE-DE-FRANCE SECTEUR PARIS A
IFSTTAR INSTITUT Français DES SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES DES TRANSPORTS, DE L AMENAGEMENT ET DES RESEAUX ( IFSTTAR)
CEREA ECOLE NATIONALE DES PONTS ET CHAUSSEES (ENPC)
LPED UNIVERSITE AIX-MARSEILLE I [DE PROVENCE]

Help of the ANR 1,072,190 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2012 - 48 Months

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