URBIEAU - Functions of planted spaces for urbanity, biodiversity and water management (2013)

Scientific coordinator: Bernard Kaufmann (LEHNA) – bernard.kaufmann@univ-lyon1.fr
Disciplines: Biology – Urban hydrology – Technology/society articulation
Laboratories: LEHNA – LGCIE – EVS
Partners: City of Villeurbanne – Grand Lyon – INSA Lyon


Today “nature” in the city has entered into the vocabulary of the managers and planners of the cities of the 21st century, as well as of policy-makers and the public. “Nature” in the city is associated with functions (e.g. green band for biodiversity, well-being of residents, rainwater management, and mitigating urban heat islands) which make up preconceived lists that are rarely tested locally. Urban green spaces or planted spaces, organised in a “green infrastructure”, are specific and omnipresent elements of “nature” in the city. They are specific in the management practices they require, and in that they are full-fledged public spaces in the city. Their multi-functionality is a justification for their existence and extension in most cities in the world.

The goal of the URBIEAU project is to verify the relevance of the functions most frequently attributed to planted spaces by applying the methods of the three following disciplinary fields:

- function of hosting uses applied by the players' modes of management,
- function of hydrological service,
- function of supporting biodiversity.

These three functions are never evaluated simultaneously for a same space. This is the multifunctionality that the URBIEAU project seeks to measure and test for a green infrastructure, that of the La Doua Ecocampus, which has a network of planted spaces with in principle varied functions.