Co-constructing future land-use scenarios for the Grenoble region, France

Abstract : Physically and socially heterogeneous mountain landscapes support high biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services. But rapid landscape transformation from fast urbanisation and agricultural intensification around cities to abandonment and depopulation in higher and more remote districts, raises urgent environmental and planning issues. For anticipating their future in a highly uncertain socio-economic context, we engaged stakeholders of a dynamic urban region of the French Alps in an exemplary interactive Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP) for co-creating salient, credible and legitimate scenarios. Stakeholders helped researchers adapt, downscale and spatialize four normative visions from the regional government, co-producing four storylines of trend versus break-away futures. Stakeholder input, combined with planning documents and analyses of recent dynamics, enabled parameterisation of high-resolution models of urban expansion, agriculture and forest dynamics. With similar storylines in spite of stakeholders insisting on different governance arrangements, both trend scenarios met current local and European planning objectives of containing urban expansion and limiting loss and fragmentation of agricultural land. Both break-away scenarios induced considerable conversion from agriculture to forest, but with highly distinctive patterns. Under a commonly investigated, deregulated liberal economic context, encroachment was random and patchy across valleys and mountains. A novel reinforced nature protection scenario affecting primarily mountain and hilly areas fostered deliberate consolidation of forested areas and connectivity. This transdisciplinary approach demonstrated the potential of combining downscaled normative scenarios with local, spatially-precise dynamics informed by stakeholders for local appropriation of top-down visions, and for supporting land planning and subsequent assessment of ecosystem service trade-offs.
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Clémence Vannier, Adeline Bierry, Pierre-Yves Longaretti, Baptiste Nettier, Thomas Cordonnier, et al.. Co-constructing future land-use scenarios for the Grenoble region, France. Landscape and Urban Planning, Elsevier, 2019, 190, pp.103614. ⟨10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103614⟩. ⟨hal-02405231⟩

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