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Event International conference of GIS International College of Territorial Sciences « Founding territorial sciences »

The International College of Territorial Sciences (CIST) organizes its international conference on next 23-25 November 2011 in Paris (all information on

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-  Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

-  Université Paris Diderot


- Institut national d’études démographiques (Ined)

- Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (Ademe)

- Délégation interministérielle à l’aménagement du territoire et à l’attractivité régionale (Datar)

- Institut d’aménagement et d’urbanisme d’Ile-de-France (IAU IF)



 - Pierre BECKOUCHE, Director, CIST,


Themes of papers

Defining territorial sciences

Does the importance of territorial issues justify a new discipline dedicated to them? A less ambitious scenario could be the foundation of territorial sciences as an interdisciplinary field, in the same way that other sciences have emerged on the margins of several disciplines, constituting either hinge disciplines (biochemistry, astrophysics...) or sets encompassing several disciplines (cognitive sciences, complex systems...). In the most reductive case, the territory would be a mere multidisciplinary object.


Territorial information

This theme focuses on how territorial databases may cope with interactions between global, regional, local and micro local scales; how data belonging to different fields may be integrated (issues related to metadata and to the variety of normative data across countries and producing institutions); which implications does temporal integration of data have for prospective analysis; and how information may be interoperable. It also concerns the production of tools for data visualization and decision-making.


Mobilities, identities and territories 

This theme focuses on the relationship between territories and identities in a context of increasing mobility and complexity of individual trajectories. It pays attention to the interplay between different temporalities of mobility in relation to their spatial contexts. It investigates the territory as material for "identity production", whether produced by politico-administrative action in the case of territorial divisions (meshes, boundaries, territories of public action...), or individually or collectively appropriated while building a sense of belonging. It envisions the territory as a resource unevenly mobilized by individuals, groups and institutions.


Conflicts, compromises and territorial governance 

New governance issues (conflicts and compromises between increasingly diversified actors, competition between standards in relation with cultural contexts, efficiency of public action and new regulations from local to international scale) can be best understood when tested on territories, some of which highlight these issues particularly well: cross-border territories, common goods, large multinational regions (Europe and its neighbourhoods, etc..).


Risks and territories

There is a growing social demand on the theme of risks: importance of tools for making the field actors aware of the issues, increasing number of studies and prevention plans, but frequent lack of preparation by public authorities in particular in developing countries. The need to analyze the entire chain of ("natural", technological ...) risk entails a requirement of “decompartmentalization": between disciplines; between research and social demand; between the different components that can be integrated by the territorial approach: causes (often systemic), hazard, crisis, crisis management, vulnerability assessment and prevention.


Biodiversity and territories

The spatial dimension of interactions between societies and biodiversity within territories and landscapes provides a good standpoint for observing the concomitant evolutions of social systems and of biodiversity: which effects do biodiversity changes have on societies? Which effects may be generated on these territories by possible spatial re-distributions of species, populations, or genes? How to manage ever increasing amounts of information and to derive spatialised policy recommendations from it?


Agriculture, territories and sustainable development

The status of agriculture has evolved from a sector often described as inherited from the past toward a domain bearing cross-sectoral issues of utmost importance: growing competition for access to food production resources (food security, purchase of land by foreign states…), health protection of consumers, preservation of natural resources, maintaining biodiversity, cultural diversity. This cross-sectoral character entails an essential territorial dimension.


Territories and health

As defined by the WHO, health is a particularly cross-sectoral notion, which implies meeting the basic - affective, sanitary, nutritional, social, and cultural - needs of the individual. Territories play an important role when trying to characterise and understand the health level of a population, to analyse and implement care systems, to identify alerts and to prevent contamination risks (public health observatories).


Other themes

Researchers may also propose papers concerning themes besides those listed, yet they have to conform to the three-fold approach: theorizing the interdisciplinary field of territorial sciences / territorial information / social demand.

Contact information Pierre BECKOUCHE; Directeur du GIS CIST, Conseiller scientifique d'IPEMED (email:
Phone: +
Event type Conference
File link
Source The International College of Territorial Sciences (CIST)
Geographical coverage France
Address Chimie ParisTech École nationale supérieure de chimie 11, rue Pierre et Marie Curie 75231 PARIS
Organizer The International College of Territorial Sciences (CIST)
Target audience International
Period [23/11/2011 - 25/11/2011]
Status Confirmed
Working language(s) ENGLISH , FRENCH