Cities in a post-carbon society. A French perspective

14 Cities post carbon
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Futures studies often lack territorial approaches when dealing with climate and energy challenges. This article is a contribution to fill this gap by answering two main questions: what is the role of cities in this transition? How could they lead to a post-carbon society?

To do so, an interdisciplinary foresight and research program involving academia, experts and local authorities was conducted, focusing on the French case. Six contrasting transition paths, from today to 2050, were designed. The outcome is twofold. Not only the way the scenarios have been built intends to reflect the complexity of urban metabolism, but their qualitative and quantitative assessments also detail the role urban stakeholders could play in various trajectories.

As a result, three issues clearly appear to be crucial in the transition towards a post-carbon society. Firstly, the combination of technical and social innovation will be required to address the challenge of sustainability. Secondly, the role of changing behaviors and lifestyles is also important. Thirdly, more consistency shall be given in transition processes between time horizons (short, medium, long terms) on the one hand, and spatial scales (from the individual to global level) on the other hand.



A. Rivière
DOI:  10.12910/EAI2015-011