REVISOLS - City regeneration and polluted or potentially polluted soils (2015)

Scientific coordinator: Stéphane Frioux (LARHRA)
Disciplines: Sociology – Law – history – Ecotoxicological risks
Laboratories: LARHRA – CMW – IDE – LEHNA
Partner: City of Lyon


REVISOLS addresses the issue of city regeneration from the point of view of soil repurposing. Reconstruction/densification is now a priority in a public policy context that aims to limit urban sprawl and encourage compact cities. This project takes an upstream approach, addressing the issue of soils polluted or potentially polluted by past industrial and craft activities. Soil is less often associated with urban environmental issues than air or even water and also less well represented in scientific research.
The socio-historical research conducted by the doctoral student on the way in which the soil, materialising the changing relations between societies and their environment, will contribute to the land recycling processes at work within cities. The aim will be to study how players forming the urban environment, those responsible for mapping at-risk sites as well as city dwellers, think and act with regard to potential soil pollution.
Thanks to the legal and ecotoxicological expertise of the other partners in the project (IDE and LEHNA), REVISOLS will offer a reflective view of the multiple ways of understanding urban soil and its quality.
The project will aim to understand the ways in which practitioners work to prevent and manage soil pollution and the difficulties they encounter, in a context of scientific uncertainty and regulatory changes.

The project will involve tried and tested methods in the social sciences: field surveys, interviews, participatory observation, research into archives and various types of documents (photographs, for example) and multidisciplinary work combining the skills of various members of the team: legal expertise on the conditions for applying standards, ecotoxicological assessment, sociology of science and participation and environmental history.

Apart from the sociology thesis and viva (also supervised from a historical perspective), REVISOLS will result in the production of scientific articles and participation in international reviews and conferences open to multidisciplinarity.
The collaboration between the team, the doctoral student and the practitioner partners, and the survey of populations, will make it possible to adapt the results of the research in various spheres, offering expertise usable by all players in urban matters, from practitioners to inhabitants.