POUDEV - Energy policies and customs in the city (2012)

Scientific coordinator: Eric Verdeil (EVS) – eric.verdeil@normalesup.org
Disciplines: Urban planning – Physics – Engineering science – Geography
Laboratories: EVS – GREMMO – CETHIL


The energy transition is emerging as a new urban public issue which is the subject of debate. Alongside the traditional energy management players (government, major industrial players in the sector), urban players are emerging (local communities, local technical operators - particularly housing operators - resident associations, etc.). While the issue of the energy transition is primarily addressed via the dual tracks of technology and economics, the hypothesis is made of the weight of these new players in design and implementation choices for new tools for public action (observatories, local energy agencies, new restrictive or incentivising regulatory approaches, new technical objects).

The project aims to observe in detail the effects of the introduction of new technologies and/or new energies, based on the hypothesis that their reception must be analysed at two levels:

- these new technologies are integrated into existing practices, characterised by habits and customs structured by the physical characteristics of the living location and the social norms of the groups present (building morphology, interior design, heating, washing and cooking customs, etc.);

- these existing practices are also shaped by a set of economic and social relationships (direct and indirect pricing of different forms of energy, installation cost of energy devices, energy taxation). This complex tangle must be clarified starting from the practices, customs and lifestyles of residents, with in situ observation of their consumption modes and budgets.

The research combines socio-geographic and anthropological approaches.