PLURISQ - Risks and multidisciplinarity - Building a global understanding of the potential dangers in the northeast area of the Lyon conurbation (2015)

Scientific coordinator: Thierry Coanus (EVS)
Disciplines: Spatial Planning – Ecology/Ecotoxicology – Ethnology – Physical Geography – Social Geography – Contemporary History – Political Science – Sociology
Laboratories: EVS – LEM – GATE – LARHRA – LEHNA
Partners: Lyon Métropole, BURGEAP


The project concerns a vast area, from the so-called 'la Feyssine' area in Villeurbanne to the Bugey nuclear power plant (Saint-Vulbas, Ain). The area includes a large number of institutional players, both public and private, having to simultaneously manage a multitude of developmental tendencies (an industrial park and peri-urbanisation, in particular) and sensitive technical issues (a multi-player river and hydraulic network, phreatic zones, power lines, motorways and railway lines, etc.) affected by the presence of various dangers (floods, explosions and various forms of pollution, etc.), liable to NaTech combinations.

This area is also characterised by major administrative complexity (involvement of three departments - Rhône, Ain and Isère-, the Lyon Métropole and a number of municipalities).

With a view to aiding in the decision-making process, the aim of the project is to understand the nature, dynamics and qualification of risk management in this complex zone, characterised by out-dated expertise. In effect, this has produced a number of reports, from which it is hard to obtain a cohesive overview. This comprehensive approach will make it possible to clarify the twofold nature of the risk issues, using both knowledge from the experimental sciences and mental operations consisting in representing a phenomena that has not yet happened.

Research is based on a multi-level investigation, conducted in a multidisciplinary context. It draws on various sources, both from the experimental sciences and from the human and social sciences:

  • Documentary research (technical reports, theses and academic works, various studies, etc.);
  • Field samples (microbiological and ecotoxicological analyses);
  • Location and counting of archives (departmental, national, municipal, company and private archives where applicable);
  • Semi-directive interviews with key players in the area concerned, covering a number of municipalities, the Lyon Métropole and 3 departments (Rhône, Ain and Isère);
  • 'Multidisciplinary workshops': documentary seminars bringing together academic disciplines based on diverse epistemologies.