Urban Transformations and Futures

Urban Transformations and Futures


Urban areas have historically been hubs of innovation and are now at the forefront of socio-environmental changes, including climate change, resource scarcity, digital technologies, changing work patterns, and an aging population. These changes impact urban morphogenesis, shaping the environment through various actors, behaviors, and practices. Anticipating and proposing sustainable development trajectories are crucial in response to these ongoing and future urban transformations.

The “Urban Transformations and Futures” research theme aims to generate original research that characterizes, explains, and envisages urban spaces, as well as territorial and regional structures. It views the city as a complex system with distinct spatial characteristics, and combines recent transformations with a long-term perspective. The objectives are both scientific, to understand urban transformations, and societal, to address regional planning and adaptation challenges.

Priority areas include studying the current and future transformations of urban forms and functions, understanding the dialectic between self-organization and external control, and analyzing the evolution of urban futures influenced by socio-technical, environmental, and geopolitical changes. The concept of proximity, particularly in the context of the 15-minute city, will be explored to assess its efficiency in terms of mobility, quality of life, production-consumption relationships, and the use of resources.

The research also aims to develop a theory of urbanization that remains adaptable to change, considering spatiality as an active agent. Values associated with socio-environmental transition will be examined, and a combination of quantitative spatial analysis methodologies and qualitative approaches will be used to assess the socio-environmental impact of urban development. Planning theories and approaches will be combined with geographic research into urban spaces, to propose a substantive contribution to the debate on sustainable urban development.


Giovanni FUSCO, Guilhem BOULAY, Sébastien GADAL