RIVIERE – Re-naturing the city, a risk or a factor for social well-being in the eyes of residents and users? Contribution of landscape mediation (2013)

Scientific coordinator: Marylise Cottet (EVS) – marylise.cottet@ens-lyon.fr
Disciplines: Geography – Information technology – Ecology
Laboratories: EVS – LIRIS – LEM – LEHNA
Partners: SPL SEGAPAL – Grand Lyon


The re-naturation of cities represents a major preoccupation to the extent that it responds to ecological (biodiversity) and social (well-being) issues. Therefore, aquatic environments (rivers, reservoirs) located within or in contact with cities are the object of increasing appreciation. Nonetheless, this process creates some risks for societies (health risk, flood risk, drowning risk) and for ecosystems (ecological or eco-toxicological risk). Management of these natural spaces in the city is therefore a genuine challenge. While quantification of these risks is one part of the problem, it is also useful to examine perceptions of the risks by residents and users. Perceptions are liable to influence practices. To what extent does the presence of nature in the city, and the forms it takes, influence perceptions, representations and social practices? Are the related risks perceived and taken into account by residents and/or users in their practices in the city? Or are these audiences influenced above all by the aesthetic, recreational or even ecological values associated with these spaces?

To answer these questions, new research was needed. Landscape perception is a major component of the society/environments relationship. In this sense, it will form the entry key to this research project. In addition to the methodologies traditionally used for analysis of landscape perceptions (interview and questionnaires surveys), the project will rely on innovative tools such as mobile oculometrics.