IRePSE - Lille
Fed 4129

Environment, Risks, Nature and Society

The challenge in this cross-cutting area is to develop reflections on the mutations and recompositions of territories, cities and metropolises as territorial systems by integrating environmental changes and risks. We question the processes that underlie these changes, both in terms of vulnerabilities and creative dynamics. Most of the concepts that relate to environmental issues are present in our results and more particularly those on environmental risks or territories at risk, environmental inequalities, relationships with nature and biodiversity. They relate to four themes structuring research in this scientific field, with disciplinary support in Ecology, Physics-Chemistry and Environmental Geosciences.

  • Axis 1 will focus on urbanization: environmental inequalities, relationships with nature and biodiversity ". Urbanization constitutes one of the main factors of modification of the environment, resulting in particular in a strong exposure to toxic anthropogenic substances. In this context we seek to make the link between ecological issues and the quality of life in the city. Thus, a recent project funded by IRePSE proposed to study the impact of urban constraints on wild species that can survive in the city. The same project tried to highlight how these wildlife can tell us about the quality of human habitat. Indeed, urbanization also affects the quality of environments with consequences for human health. Another example of a study that can be carried out in a multidisciplinary way as part of specific IRePSE actions concerns the impact of urbanization on the distribution of drinking water resources. This can also make it possible to integrate establishments such as the Artois-Picardy Water Agency and the BRGM into our perimeter.
  • Axis 2 will focus on "Consultation and governance of environmental risks in the terrestrial environment". There are many environmental risks which can take place on land and which require multidisciplinary monitoring. They may relate to the understanding of the underground and surface circulation of fluids and the management of resources, the vulnerability of dwellings, floods, the assessment of seismic risk, recent and future evolution of the coastal environment and the withdrawal of coasts in the region. Understanding, assessing and governing all of these natural hazards requires a better understanding of the geological structure and dynamics of the subsurface and of environmental surface processes. In addition, the quality of the geological outcrops in the Ardennes, Avesnois, Boulonnais and in the Mining Basin, and the quantity of data acquired throughout the history of the exploitation of regional mineral resources, have made our territory suitable for a confrontation multidisciplinary of surface / sub-surface observations, to dynamic geological modeling (eg structural, thermal, stratigraphic, hydrogeological, geochemical, etc.).
  • Axis 3 will focus on "sustainable development, energy transition and adaptation to climate change". Within the framework of COP 21 and the law relating to the energy transition, France is committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the evolution of its energy mix. The Hauts-de-France region, for its part, has set itself the ambitious objective of switching to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Low-temperature geothermal energy constitutes one of the realistic alternative solutions to the use of energy fossils for our territory, in particular by exploiting the deep aquifer of carboniferous limestones (substratum of the mining basin of the departments of Nord and Pas de Calais) following the example of what is developed in the region of Mons, in Belgium in a context very comparable geological.
  • Finally, axis 4 will focus on the identification and enhancement of the regional heritage of an ecological, geological, paleontological and archaeological order ". In the Hauts-de-France region, human history is particularly mixed with its geological substratum. The IRePSE researchers involved in these initiatives are privileged interlocutors of the various regional authorities in charge of natural heritage or those linked to human activities, such as nature reserves, parks, remarkable sites and museum collections. The development of a paleobiological heritage, even of preservation, covers various geological periods. The regional Palaeozoic sites and / or stratotypes in the Boulonnais, the Ardennes, etc. are very good examples, as well as the quaternary deposits of the region which often allow to combine paleontological and archaeological aspects. Finally, heaps are another good example.