Linear transport infrastructures (LTIs) interact with landscapes, social spaces and biodiversity. Despite low levels of ground coverage, LTIs affect all ecosystems through the fragmentation of landscapes. This can lead to the isolation of animal populations, the creation of new sources of pollution and the spread of invasive species.
However, LTIs also play other roles, which must be measured and taken into account. They can be considered resources, supporting the reconstitution of ecological networks and the production of ecosystemic services. In addition, LTIs cover more surface area than French nature parks. Many actors therefore work in these zones to help reduce the environmental impact of structures and to develop environmental and heritage strategies that are better adapted to their rebound effects.
The projects selected following the 2017 call for proposals are characterised by high levels of international cooperation. They focus on the evaluation of measures that seek to assess and manage the ecological functionalities of LTIs. Infrastructures are part of a living landscape, with unique ecological, landscaping and social dynamics.
These shifting dynamics contribute to the changing composition of territories. They also lead to unique interactions between manmade and natural environments. The 2017 ITTECOP call for proposals, worth €1.3 million, was jointly financed by the CILB, MTES and ADEME.
Fundamental and applied research projects, which may run for up to three years, aim to answer scientific questions by adopting multi-disciplinary approaches and comparing different types of linear infrastructures.
Exploratory projects, which may run for up to one year, involve the prospective analysis of emerging, controversial or insufficiently defined subjects, both by operators or as part of fundamental research.
Incubator projects aim to result in the submission of ambitious research projects as part of ANR, H2020 or Life+ calls for proposals.
The wealth of existing literature on LTIs needs to be synthesized so its full potential can be tapped. The so-called “systematic review” method assesses the quantity and quality (trustworthiness) of all available knowledge, in order to draw unbiased and clear conclusions.
ITTECOP is an incentive-based research programme led by the French Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES), with the support of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). The programme, which was launched in 2008, focuses on all kinds of linear land transport infrastructure (road, rail, river and energy) and interfaces with local territories (train stations, ports and airports). Depending on scale, the effects of linear transport infrastructures are analysed from the perspective of ecological, social, economic, landscaping, heritage and other considerations.
For more information: Information on the research projects supported by the programme since 2008 can be found on the website www.ittecop.fr. A web documentary, featuring reports and interviews with researchers, is also available at www.ittecop.fr/webdoc4-3/.
The Club of Linear Infrastructure and Biodiversity (CILB) is an informal group of organizations which have signed the June 2011 founding charter. It seeks to deepen businesses’ commitments to biodiversity. For this call for proposals, members ASFA, Eiffage, ENEDIS, GRTgaz, LISEA, RTE, SNCF Réseau, TIGF and VNF have invested around €700,000.
The Foundation for Research on Biodiversity was created in 2008 by the Ministries of Research and Ecology and by eight public research institutions (BRGM, CIRAD, CNRS, IFREMER, INRA, IRD, IRSTEA and MNHN). It brings together a range of scientific and operational stakeholders working on biodiversity. Around 200 organisations, non-profit groups, businesses, developers and local authorities have joined the FRB to pursue the common goal of promoting research and innovation for biodiversity. www.fondationbiodiversite.fr
The call for proposals is supported by the Infrastructure Ecosystem Network Europe (IENE), a European research network founded in 1996. IENE brings together researchers and operational actors from more than 50 countries who specialise in interactions between infrastructure and biodiversity. www.iene.info