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Environment, City, Society


Axe(s) of research

The research unit UMR 5600 "Environment, City, Society" (EVS) brings together research communities stemming from a wide range of disciplines from social sciences and humanities. Researchers belong to universities and colleges of the Lyon Saint-Etienne pole.

THE UMR EVS handles modalities by which contemporary and past societies fit out and arrange their environments. Change, action, transformation, evolution, future will be considered in order to study these modalities. These developments and concern for the environments which contribute to the transformation of the world are not analyzed indeed still as participating in "dynamics of change". They cause "reactions" of the world, are observable as dynamics of "change", as what participates in the "global change" and, doubtless, in the "evolution ".

In our research Unit, the dynamics of change are studied in eight working groups – designed from the scientific interests of the research communities gathered in the Lab. These working groups are not hierarchical but relational. Thematized, generally from objects, from process and from phenomena, they  constitute research polarities around the dynamics of change and the related territorial and environmental stakes. They establish a relational organization within which distribute the communities of search(research) from plural disciplinary origins.

A same research perspective binds these working groups together and implies each of them individually to be related to all others : the three domains of change (environmental transformations, ecological evolutions, praxis and action – i.e. environmental management, territorial and environmental policies int their widest sense, interact constantly to transform the world and reveal its historical modalities.

This scientific organization in working groups favors the polarities of research and stimulates scientific plurality by associating researchers of very different disciplinary origin, sharing research topics.


International research in EVS

The internationalisation of the laboratory EVS was gauged for the period 2011-2015 through activities such as international co-directions of Ph D, participation in international research networks, involvement in or direction of international research programs, participation in Ph D jurys abroad, invitation of researchers to/from abroad, co-publications with foreign researchers. The mapping of these international actions is as follows:

Examples of current or recent research programs and networks involving EVS and co-financed by international institutions:

  • 2014-2017. Dynamiques d’urbanisation et représentations spatiales: l’approche géohistorique des territoires sous SIG. Funded by COFECUB (Brazil).
  • 2012-2017. Saisir l’Europe /Europa als Herausforderung. Funded by the French and the German ministries of research (Germany).
  • 2015-2016. Coopératisme et développement local: France et Croatie. Funded by PHC COGITO (Croatia).
  • 2014-2016. La refondation de l’urbanisme tunisien dans la période (post-) révolutionnaire. Funded by PHC UTIQUE (Tunisia).
  • 2014-2016. Atlas du Liban, les nouveaux défis. Funded by the PCH CEDRE (Lebanon).
  • 2012-2016. GDRI Espaces et réseaux urbains. International Research Group. Funded by the CNRS and the partners (France, Russia, Hungary, Germany, Ukraine).
  • 2012-2015. Sediment management in Alpina Basins: Integrating Sediment Continuum, Risk Mitigation and  Hydropower. Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Austria).
  • 2012-2015. Parc national de Toluca: un laboratoire socio-environnemental pour des innovations politiques dans la gestion de parcs nationaux. Funded by the International ANR program (Mexico).
  • 2008-2015. EPSAT - Environmental and palaeoenvironmental setting of archaeological sites in Tamil Nadu. Funded by the Leakey Fundation, Indian Space Fundation, IUF, Earthwatch (India).
  • 2012-2014. Integrated territorial analysis of the neighbourhoods (ITAN). Funded by ESPON (European Union). 
  • 2010-2013. Villes, efficience énergétique et développement durable, le cas de la Tunisie. Funded by PCH UTIQUE (Tunisia).
  • 2011-2012. Villes et territoires dans la transitionénergétique en Turquie. Funded by the Rhône-Alpes region and the University of Galatasaray (Turkey).
  • 2010-2012.Oxbow Persistence as Aquatic Floodplain Habitat: Deciphering the Processes Responsible for the Initial Open-Water  Volume Inherited by Oxbow Lakes. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the University of Cardiff (United Kingdom).
  • 2009-2012. Redynamisation du Vieux Rhin. Rhin supérieur / Oberrhein. Funded by INTERREG IV (European Union).
  • 2009-2012. Mise en place d’outils d’aide à la décision pour le développement d’une hydroélectricité durable dans le bassin du Mékong. Funded by FFEM, WWF, Mékong River Commission (Cambodge, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam).
  • 2009-2012. Urbanisation et urbanité en Europe: l’Allemagne aux avant-postes. Funded by the CIERA (Germany).
  • 2007-2011. Niger-Loire, gouvernance et culture. Funded by the European Commission and UNESCO (European Union).


  1. CNRS
  2. Universities (Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Lumière Lyon 2, Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne)
  3. Engineering schools (Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne, ENTPE, INSA Lyon)
  4. ENS Lyon
  5. Lyon National School of Architecture


85 lecturers ; 14 researchers ; 26 agents in support staff ;  138 PhD students and post-doc fellows

[en]Infos pratiques


  • UM5 5600 Environnement Ville Société
    Bureau 612
    18, rue Chevreul
    69362 Lyon Cedex
  • [en]Téléphone : +33(0)
  • [en]Fax : +33(04).


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