Settlement and Political Space (Habiter) - UR 2076


Directeur de Habiter, directeur de la MSHS Phone 03 26 91 87 79
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Contact details

HABITER - Aménagement et Géographie Politique
UFR Lettres et Sciences Humaines
57 bis rue Pierre Taittinger
51096 Reims cedex

Sébastien Piantoni
Email :
Phone : 03 26 91 36 81

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Team presentation

Multidisciplinary research team consisting of planners, geographers and historians developing two research areas (urban-development-sustainability (IRCS) and political geography), which converge in a common theme "Cities and powers."

François Bost (director)
Phone: +33 (0)

Pr. François Mancebo (assistant director)
Tél: +33 (0)

21 teacher-researchers and engineers
15 PhD

Decision support - development - sustainability - environment - Borders - Political Geography - Geopolitics - innovation - interdisciplinarity - mobility - public policy - powers - International Relations - Sustainability Science - territory - urban - city - colonial city

Research themes

Urban planning, sustainability - IRCS (International Research Center on Sustainaibility)

  • After Rio +20, which systems of governance for which sustainability?
  • Climate Change and Migration: Scenarios under water stress in Central Asia
  • Conditions for dialogue between researchers, civil society, business and local authorities for sustainable medium-sized cities in Europe.
  • Developing sustainable living and social justice: what trade-offs?
  • Renewable energy: legitimacy and long-term impact of scenarios in the context of multi-level governance.
  • Social Innovation
  • Objectives of sustainable development post-2015: Towards a new social contract
  • What planning policies to take account of emerging pollutants and endocrine disruptors?
  • Under the cobblestones, the city identify the conditions for the registration of an underground city urban sustainable
  • Temporalities urban projects
  • Towards a sustainable periurbanisation by usages.

Political space

  • Theory of political geography and geopolitics,
  • Geopolitics of the world system around themes of borders, cities and actors' strategies.
  • Study "border barriers"
  • Study social boundaries in cities.

Two Masters are linked with these research activities:

  • a vocational Master: Master in Urban development and Environment, sponsored by IATEUR (Institut d'Aménagement du Territoire, d'Environnement et d'Urbanisme de l'Université de Reims = URCA’s Land Development, Environment and Urbanism Institute)
  • a research Master (specialisation of the mention History and Geopolitic)


  • Leader of major projects (European projects, national projects ANR)
  • Consultancy
  • Organisation of annual Rencontres Internationales de Reims on Sustainability Studies
  • Organization of workshops BABEL-Building key concepts of sustainable development.

National industrial partnerships:

  • Team STEEP (Sustainability Transition, Environment, Economy and local Policy) - INRIA
  • IAU (Institute of Urban Planning and Development) Ile de France
  • INGELUX Consultants - Lyon
  • Suez Environnement

National academic partnerships:

  • DREAL Champagne-Ardenne
  • Ecole Nationale d'Architecture Paris Val de Seine
  • GRECAU (Research Group Environment and Urban Architectural Design) - National School of Architecture and Landscape of Bordeaux
  • Planning Institute of Grenoble - Grenoble University
  • IRPHIL (Institute of Philosophical Lyon) - University Lyon 3
  • HLDAA (Laboratory Design Territory History) - National School of Architecture and Landscape of Lille
  • LASH (LABORATORY Sciences de l'Habitat) - Lyon ENTPE
  • PUCA (Urban Planning Architecture) Minsitère of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
  • Region Champagne-Ardenne
  • Reims Métropole
  • RMS (RMS)
  • SBRI (Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute) - INSERM
  • UMR LADYSS - University Paris 8
  • UMR LPPA (Laboratory of Physiology of Perception and Action) - Collège de France.
  • City of Reims

International industrial partnership:

  • BioRegional, United Kingdom
  • Centre for Systems Solutions Association, Poland
  • CITET (Tunis International Centre for Environmental Technologies), Tunisia
  • Team STEEP (Sustainability Transition, Environment, Economy and local Policy) - INRIA
  • IAU (Institute of Urban Planning and Development) Ile de France
  • INGELUX Consultants - Lyon
  • Organization Space Environment, Belgium
  • Siemens PLC, United Kingdom
  • Suez Environnement
  • TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) Delhi, India

International academic partnerships:

  • Department of Political Science - University of New Hampshire, USA
  • ENVSEC (Environment and Security Initiative) - United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Eastern Europe (UNEP / ROE), Switzerland
  • Faculty of Sciences - Ibn Tofail University, Morocco
  • Harvard University - Sustainable Science Program, USA
  • Hungarian Academy of Science, Hungary
  • Hungarian National Association of Local Authorities, Hungary
  • Institute of Information Science and Technology - National Research Council (CNR), Italy
  • Maastricht University, Netherlands
  • Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (NL)
  • NWRC (National Water Research Centre), Egypt
  • Madrid Polytechnic University, Beer-Sheva (Israel)
  • SIO (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology) - Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
  • TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) Unviersity, Delhi, India
  • Universidad de Cantabria, Spain
  • Universidade do Minho, Portugal
  • University of Montreal, Canada
  • University of Camerino, Italy
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Matej Bel University (Banska Bystrica, Slovakia)

Organization of scientific events

Current and future events:

  • Third Rencontres Internationales de Reims on Sustainability Studies, "Sustainable Development Goals after 2015: towards a new social contract", 19-20 June 2013, Reims
  • Seminar Babel - Building Sustainable Development (
  • Seminar Cities and Powers (
  • Seminar on the History of Colonial America []

Major past events:

  • Second Rencontres Internationales de Reims on Sustainability Studies, "After Rio +20, which systems of governance for which sustainability? When planning becomes an exercise in democracy ", 26-27 September 2012, Reims
  • First Rencontres Internationales de Reims on Sustainability Studies, "Social equity and environmental sustainability: the return of planning", 22-23 June 2011, Reims
  • International Symposium "Space Policy: Concepts and Ladders", 2 - 4 April 2008, Reims.
  • Conference "The Champagne-Ardenne and Picardie challenges the attractiveness and competitiveness of territories" 22 to 23 June 2006, Reims.
  • Several study days organized by IATEUR

Current projects

Programs submitted under evaluation:

  • FP7 European project "Governance of Sustainable Urban and Regional Medium Sized Systems (MESURS)" within the framework of the call for project "Mobilization and Mutual Learning Action Plan (MML): Mainstreaming Science in Society Actions in Research (SiS.2013.1 .2-1) "[Leading partner, carrying the project]
  • CSFRS (Superior Council of Education and Research Strategic) - Call for proposals non-thematic 2012 - WALLS. Border barriers in the contemporary world [Portage Project]
  • Project ORA Plus - ANR "Plotting Our Sustainable Energy Future: Legitimacy and Impact of Long-Term Energy Scenarios in a Multilevel Governance Context". [Co-portage project]
  • Program NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. "Project" Climate-Water-Migration Nexus: Scenarios for North Africa and Central Asia ". [Co-portage project]


  • National Project "D-Town 10 Cities of ideas" "Under the cobblestones, the city arrange the meeting of two worlds" [Project Management]
  • Project emerging "TrEcoPolEm" Fate and impact of emerging pollutants from the health sector in the environment "[Direction of Work Package" Development Policies "]
  • Program PUCA "From suburban to urban: the other side of the mirror - A suburban areas by the thought, for a peri modeled by usage" [Portage and project management]
  • Program PUCA "Temporalities urban project" [Portage and project management]
  • Projects Walls on the observation and analysis of closed borders
  • FP7 EUBORDERSCAPES, Bordering, Landscapes Political and Social Arenas: ? Potentials and Challenges of Border Evolving Concepts in a post-Cold War World
  • Editing the Corpus sources Caribbean (volumes 3, 4, 5, 6)

Completed projects:

  • ANR Sustainable City AETIC (Integrated Territorial Economic Approach to Climate Change) [direction of Work Package Planning]
  • Project EXCLIM (Exiles climate), urban policy to the test population displacements due to extreme weather events in the program GICC2 (Managing Impacts of Climate Change) and the MEEDEM CNRS - [porting and scientific leadership] .
  • PIRVE Program (Interdisciplinary Research Program City and Environment - CNRS) "Towards sustainable urban and peri - A study of the transition to sustainability thinking at the regional level in 2020 and 2050" - [porting and scientific leadership project].
  • Research for a formalization of combining sustainable urban development team STEEP.

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