People


François Mancebo

Coordinator of the Center

Planning, Sustainability Science

Rheims University – Habiter

Christopher Bryant

Geography

Université de Montréal

Jon Marco Church

Political Science

Rheims University – Habiter

William Clark

International Science, Public Policy and Human Development

Harvard Kennedy School

Christian Comeliau

Economy

Institut d’Etudes du Développement de Genève, ex-Banque Mondiale ex-Commissariat au Plan

Ladislau Dowbor

Economy

Pontifical University of Sao Paulo

http://dowbor.org/

Jean-Charles Hourcade

Economy

CIRED

Andrei Kostianoy

Oceanology

Russian Academy of Sciences

Emilio Labre la Rovere

Planning

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Alex Mejia

United Nations Institute for Training and Research

Evanthie Michalena

Sustainable Planning

RAE Hellenic Regulatory Authority for Energy

Deepak Nayyar

Economy

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Rajendra K. Pachauri

Energy

TERI The Energy and Resources Institute Delhi

Bernard Pecqueur

Economy

University of Grenoble – UMR PACTE

Rathana Peou Van den Heuvel

Political Science

University of Liberal Arts of Bangladesh (ULAB)

Ignacy Sachs

Economy

EHESS – Paris

Massimo Sargolini

Planning

University of Camerino

David Allart

Planning

Rheims University – Habiter

Sharam Alijani

Strategic Management

Rheims Management School

Habiter

Marcel Bazin

Planning

Rheims University – Habiter

Daniel Benfredj

Geography

Rheims University – Habiter

Céline Burger

Planning

Rheims University – Habiter

Sophie Deraëve

Planning

Rheims University – Habiter

Brigitte Dyvrande

Geography

Rheims University – Habiter

Sandra Mallet

Planning

Rheims University – Habiter

David Mechin

Planning

Rheims University – Habiter

Sebastien Piantoni

Webmaster of this website

Geography

Rheims University – Habiter

Sylvie Salles

Architecture

Paris Val-de-Seine Architecture School

Habiter

Thomas Perianu

Management

Suez Environnement

About IRCS


The IRCS (International Research Center on Sustainability) focuses on sustainable planning and development issues. Its central topic is: how can societies most effectively guide or manage human-environment systems toward a sustainability transition? Trying to combine social justice and environmental viability is the heart of the Center’s action. According to Amartya Sen:

“if we have obligations towards future generations, we also have obligations towards current generations.”

The legitimate increase of environmental concerns provokes an increase of technical devices and of regulations. It is not rare that these responses to environmental challenges end up not considering social and spatial justice or to reinforce existing access inequalities. To be able to conceive this governance, it is essential to rethink the practices of planning. In fact, the choices and the compromises must fit within the construction of a long term democratic society that is performed at the same time from social, environmental and spatial points of view. However, since the end of the 1980s, planning has almost disappeared from public policy under the pressure of a combination of individualism, of the prevalence of urgency, of the research of short term social, political, economic profitability. Moreover, the end of the cold war gave birth to a more uncertain world, where forecasting is more difficult. It is true that planning as it was—normative and based on archaic analytical tools—had several perverse effects, which are at the basis of its failures.

Nevertheless, it is possible, these days, to conceive a new kind of planning that takes in consideration at the same time social justice and environmental sustainability, based on tools and notions such as:

  • Coupled human-environment systems (HES);
  • Participatory mechanisms of co-construction of political choices;
  • New information models integrating uncertainty.

The recurring question of which coordination mechanisms are needed at the local, regional, national or international scale is central here. Decision-making processes need to be understood on the basis of the following questions:

Who decides on necessary compromises and on planning mechanisms? Which control and validation methods are possible?

These questions are major issues for the theorization of sustainability and for its implementation.

Sustainability Science encompasses the interaction of global processes with the ecological and social characteristics of particular places and sectors; integrating the effects of key processes across the full range of scales from local to global; addressing the behavior of complex human-environment systems (HES) (http://m.pnas.org/content/104/6/1737). It presupposes a multiscale approach (temporal, spatial, and functional), as well the inclusion of dynamic equilibria, not only of an economic, physical-chemical or biological kind, but also between actors and societies whose interests may be divergent. It correspond to use-inspired research, which is based on the postulate that the greatest scientific achievements in whatever domain take place in the framework of research applied to concrete needs of human societies.

The IRCS at Rheims University is in relation with numerous structures and people working on Sustainability science, such as the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University, the CIRED (Centre International sur l’Environnement et le Développement), the CEDRIE (CEntre de Développement de la Recherche Internationale en Environnement) at Montreal University and the ICIS (International Center for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development) at Maastricht University.

François Mancebo
Director of the IRCS

Next events


Underground Cities - Living Below the Surface: Supporting Urban Transition to Sustainability

The next Rencontres de Reims in sustainability studies will be host on October 2016 on the theme of "Underground Cities".
The third dimension of the city concerned, essentially, height growth. However, basements are already important components of urban operation and more and more cities around the world are also considering their development underground.
The sixth Rencontres Internationales de Reims in Sustainability Science meet, to discuss this subject, eight leading researchers: Jeremy Rifkin, Alain Berthoz, Alain Bourdin, Catherine Grout, Amos Kloner, François Mancebo, Aurèle Parriaux and Sylvie Salles.
This event will take place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday, October 27, 2016 in Reims (Faculty of Arts and Humanities).

You could visit the web page of the event for more information.