Sustainable management partnerships for right-of-ways of linear transport infrastructures

PADDLe is the continuation and development of GEDEV, an exploratory project funded by the previous ITTECOP program. The main aim of PADDLe is to develop models of sustainable partnerships (i.e. over time and, as defined by the sustainable development, integrating the constraints related to the environment and the functioning of society) between Linear Transport Infrastructure (LTI) operators and local actors for a management of green verges that is beneficial to biodiversity.
The 4 main types of LTIs are concerned: waterways, power lines, railwayss and highways. The methodology is based on the feedback provided by management partnerships, developed either spontaneously by local stakeholders with their own resources or within the framework of funded experimental projects. Sites will be identified in France and Belgium to collect the feedback: eight sites will be studied in detail, focusing on the conditions for the development of partnerships, the rules established between partners (LTI operators, management partners, landowners), as well as the conditions and results obtained at the ecological, socio-economic and technical levels. Beyond these elements, the incentives and possible difficulties encountered by the actors will be analyzed from a social psychology point of view. The feasibility of management partnerships will also be investigated according to a theoretical approach: the possibilities offered by the current laws (France, Belgium), the best management methods according to the ecological potential and the type of LTI, the socio-economic conditions for the implementation of relevant solutions. The empirical and theoretical knowledge gathered will be used to develop sustainable management partnership models for the different LTIs (their number will depend on the variability encountered during the project). In the last phase of the project, these models will be proposed to two independent panels of actors representing the different stakeholders involved in their implementation: one in France (Brittany) and the other in Belgium (Wallonia). The workshops which will include these representative actors (operators of the four types of LTIs, landowners, types of potential partners - associations, agro-ecology professionals... - and territorial managers who are responsible for the challenges of territorial projects from an ecological, social and economic point of view) will have a double purpose. An operational purpose to progress towards the admissibility and applicability of the models identified in the project. And an analytical purpose, to understand the incentives and/or psychological barriers to the change of practices. The project targets France and Belgium because both countries already developed management partnerships and they can feed the development of new and improved models. Both French and Belgian partners of PADDLe have experience with the topic, and PADDLe will benefit from their complementary skills. Considering that the project is innovating in the way it designs and develops the ecological and socio-economic utility of LTI Right-Of-Ways, broadening the analysis beyond a single legal and cultural framework (attitude to nature) is essential to widen the field of possibilities.