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L’ancrage territorial d’un projet d’exploitation de gaz de charbon au sein d’un espace en mutation : l’ancien bassin houiller lorrain

Abstract : At the beginning of the 21st century, the rise of consumption and the limits of traditional energy resources have led to a growing interest for research in new gas resources called « unconventional ». In Europe, these new exploitation projects have so far rarely been successful, mostly because of concerns about environmental degradation that they have aroused among the concerned territory populations. The assumption that the agricultural and tourist nature of the territories prospected has contributed to the failure of these projects can be tested by taking the opposite approach. Can an unconventional gas extraction project be more easily established in an area marked by a strong industrial culture and a tradition of exploiting subsurface resources?This is the case in the former lorraine coalfield where a new coal gas project is trying to find its place. After having heavily impacted by the disappearance of the coal mines, but also by the economic crisis of 2008, this territory is undergoing major changes, and must now face other obstacles: urban shrinkage, the Society Metropolisation, and the increasing competition from regions with amenities. These difficulties are broadly shared by the former Lorraine region, and enforce local elected representatives to build a solid strategy of revitalisation reflected in urban development and planning documents. This strategy is mainly based on the construction of a new local image. In that respect, the coal gas exploitation project, allowing a renewal of the exploitation of the subsurface relied on emerging technologies, is presented by the project leader as a potential local lever for revitalisation. It could also find its place in the local energy transition, by contributing to an easier integration of renewable energies and reducing the carbon emissions of the energy system. In this vision, both interests of the firm and the territory are therefore supposed to intersect.Based on the concepts of social acceptability and territorial anchorage, this research aims to study the compatibility of this new mining project with local development strategies. Through this case study, we also wish to analyse the contributions of the "co-construction" principle of economic projects, which can and should be considered as fully-fledged territorial development projects.
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Yann Beauloye. L’ancrage territorial d’un projet d’exploitation de gaz de charbon au sein d’un espace en mutation : l’ancien bassin houiller lorrain. Géographie. Université de Lorraine, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020LORR0293⟩. ⟨tel-03260482⟩

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