Vincent Hély is defending his PhD thesis "Synthetic assessment of territorial sustainability. Strengths and weaknesses of modeling in the decision-making process" on November 22th 2017 in Besançon.

The defense will take place at the "Salon Préclin" (18, rue Chifflet, UFR SLHS). This work was directed by Jean-Philippe Antoni.

Defense jury

Alain L'HOSTIS, Researcher at the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (Ifsttar)

Jean-Pierre NICOLAS, Researcher at the LAET / ENTPE University of Lyon

Pierre FRANKHAUSER, Professor at the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté,

Damien VERRY Projet manager at the CEREMA



This thesis is based on the challenges of assessing the impacts of urban planning decisions in the light of the imperatives of sustainable development. Beyond the vagueness often emerges from this concept, it is here to conduct a reflection on a balance to be found between the three pillars identified about sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. The aim is to consider how to assess the impacts of development policies in each of these three pillars and what conclusions should be drawn from them? The aim here is to provide answers by assessing the performance of the territories studied in these three pillars of sustainable development. For this purpose, the work is based on simulation models (here the MobiSim model developed within Laboratoire ThéMA) and on the production of synthetic indicators allowing a readable analysis and evaluation of the space. The combination of these synthetic indicators makes it possible to visualize and analyze the sustainability of the territory studied and to deduce the measures to be implemented with a view to ensuring a sustainable development policy. It is a question of putting the methodology and the results obtained into perspective in a global vision, seeking to establish by the balance between the three pillars a harmony which allows to satisfy the objectives of a policy guided by the imperatives linked to the concept of inherited from the Bruntland report. A critical approach to this concept and an analysis of the sets of actors of a territory are here conduits in order to be able to implement the scientific research work within a decision-making process. The challenge is to allow the results of research based on power modeling tools to find a more concrete and operational problem.

Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2017 15:14

Fractalopolis, the multifractal urban planning model, now published in the journal “Computers, Environment and Urban Systems”

A fifteen pages article synthesizes the planning premises that inspired applying the concept to the Grand Besançon agglomeration, thus outlining the second step of applying fractal models for urban and regional purposes.

Fractalopolis allows conceiving development plans on an urban and regional scale, based on five basic principles: a hierarchized polycentric urban development; a development linked to transportation axes; a locally concentrated development of residential areas avoiding diffuse sprawl, the interpenetration of green areas and urban areas across scales; the preservation of an interconnected network of green and natural areas of different size. The article focusses on the formal frame, which allows integrating all at once these five planning principles. The article starts by introducing the theoretical multifractal planning concept and explains then, more deeply, the software simulation tool, which allows applying the model to real world situations. A detailed description of the different modules and the application to the Great Besançon urban area illustrate the stepwise construction of such a planning scenario. I.) Choosing the central places of different hierarchical order as well as their catchment areas. II.) Evaluation of the performance of these areas with respect to the accessibilities to different types of amenities III.) Analysis and calibration of the spatial configuration of residential development according to the purposes of existing master plans.


Frankhauser P., Tannier C., Vuidel G., Houot H. (2018), An integrated multifractal modelling to urban and regional planning, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 67, 132–146.

Fractalopolis's webside


fig fratcalopolis site thema


Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2018 13:01

Pierre Frankhauser et Claudia Yamu: Winners of the Breheny Prize

The editors of Environment and Planning B would like to announce that the Michael Breheny prize for the best paper published in 2015 has been awarded to Claudi Yamu and Pierre Frankhauser for their paper ‘Spatial accessibility to amenities, natural areas and urban green spaces: using a multiscale, multifractal simulation model for managing urban sprawl’ which was published in the journal in November 2015, vol. 42, no. 6, 1054–1078.


Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design Announcement

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:25
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