LTI Territory, meander of metropolitan natural places?

The development of road, rail river routes, has fostered the fragmentation of metropolises It created cuts and territorial ruptures and encouraged continued urbanization. These linear transport infrastructures (LTI) tend to dequalify a linear of space that cannot be built, unused and poorly managed. Distance rules along roads, railways or rivers impose a distancing from constructions (withdrawal of constructions), activities or cultural dynamic. It creates a more or less wide land on either side of the LTI. These linear spaces closed to LTI raise urban, ecological, environmental and climatic, individual and social issues. When they are at the edge of inhabited spaces, they generate nuisances which raise problems related to urban quality, landscape quality and well-being, and limit ecological connectivity and biodiversity.
By focusing the example of the exemplary requalification of the linear paths of nature along watercourses, we propose to question the surroundings of LTI as potential urban edges. We focus on their potential to afford restoration places and places for walks, with a view on the urban landscape. We are interested in their potential to participate in the infrastructure of green and blue networks and ecological connectivity, to offer a network of pedestrian and cycle line between several districts while qualifying the interfaces with inhabited spaces.

Our hypothesis is that these approaches cannot be reduced to borders which separate. They can be considered as intermediate landsbetween several spatial and ideal realities. They can constitute a network of new kind of natural public spaces with their spatial, ecological, social singularities and even sensitive with the atmospheres they promote and the landscapes they create. In this research, we propose to connect urban planning, environmental psychology and ecology to assess the potential for LTI in the edges of natural and inhabited neighborhood to become natural public spaces (as places, connections and environments) auspicious to biodiversity and the quality of urban life?

Our project is organised in five tasks in the territory of the metropolis of Nantes

• Task 1 : Bibliographic analysis and feedback from international experiences on the development of the surroundings of LTI
• Task 2 : Analysis of LTI which form edges in the Nantes area, forming edges, likely to be transformed into a public place of nature
• Task 3 : Disciplinary analysis to understand the potential of urban and ecological qualification and the quality of life of places on the edge of LTI
• Task 4 : Multidisciplinary analysis of the LTI edge chosen to assess its qualities and potential of natural public spaces.
• Task 5 : Scientific valuation, promotion and operational recommendations


The expected results from this research are of interest to fundamental and operational research. We will connect conceptual fields from urban planning, environmental psychology and urban ecology to define perhaps new concepts related to natural public spaces in the edge of LTI. And we plan to develop a method which makes it possible to improve the urban social and ecological quality of these mostly unqualified spaces.