Territorial Intelligence Territorial Intelligence

The concept of territory as a cornerstone of territorial intelligence

Much research within the ThéMA laboratory has concentrated on defining territory by a systemic approach. The work done has already meant that sound foundations have been laid especially by identifying the structural and functional components of the territorial system. Starting from these systemic foundations, we endeavour to understand how regulation, by analogy with the idea of metabolism, can be conducted by means of information and its transmission. Information is required for developing knowledge that drives decision making that prevails over change. The 'field' of application for validating this theory rests especially on development of accounting and analysis of energy savings on territorial scale (3x20 platform).

Strain on territories in a context of governance
The quality of governance is dependent on the ability of territorial experts to fit in with 'democratic' processes proposed nowadays and to answer the scientific questions asked of them. As such the Territorial Intelligence team's research is part of a perspective of a response to societal demand that finds difficulty in expressing itself. Governance reflects a situation whereby a limit to the exercise of power is observed and power must be shared and negotiated. In particular, the development of cross-cutting and no longer sector-based policies requires forms of cooperation among actors often involving various state services. The effectiveness of governance, that is the regulation of the territorial system, therefore requires information sharing, developed collectively with experts and appropriated by all participants (institutions and citizens) and the definition of common and public objectives.

Knowledge as the foundation course of governance
Identifying modes of appropriating and disseminating knowledge and the improvement of them are also a major line of our research work in that they condition the understanding of the approaches and systems proposed, that is, our ability to come up with truly effective solutions for sharing knowledge, for participation and consequently for territorial governance. This dimension rests on the many works developed in cognitive sciences and will be enhanced by spatio-temporal approaches specific to our geographical discipline. This approach to knowledge will enable us in particular to define and vary the concept of observation.

Socio-cognitive approaches are an essential side of territorial intelligence. The acquisition of knowledge about the territory, which is the primary objective of Territorial Intelligence, is like a learning operation, that is, a change in the ability to think, represent and construct an object of study under the effect of data. Research in cognitive sciences and computer sciences highlights the fact that knowledge is the outcome not just of data external to the learner but also of tools and information, notably ones concerned with memory and of interactions with the environment. It therefore seems essential to understand how knowledge and particularly territorial knowledge is acquired, both individually and collectively, in order to improve the tools for passing on the same knowledge. Retroactively, we seek a better grasp of the meaning of collective representations underpinning the creation of data and territorial indicators. This understanding determines the effectiveness of tools of territorial intelligence and promotes fresh approaches to governance.

Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November 2014 10:30

Diagnostic tools
Territorial diagnostics is an exercise closely tied in with the territorial intelligence tools on which it relies. In the perspective of putting these tools in place, it is natural to be mindful of a scientific approach underlying the diagnostic actions. This research is anchored relative to thinking about the concept of territory addressed as a complex system. The systemic posture adopted therefore provides the basis for the approach and leads to the characterisation of six formal stages for making a diagnosis and implementing the inter-related interpretations at each stage. This innovative method is tested out in the research-action framework.

Publication: Moine A., Sorita N., « Pour une refondation du travail social au cœur des territoires : Outils et méthodes », Presses de l'EHESP, Rennes, à paraître mars-avril 2014.

Formalism, models and ontologies for the joint production of territorial data and indicators

Instrumentation but also interdisciplinarity, specific to our approaches to territorial intelligence impose the definition of formal languages and ontologies with which to best pass on the wealth of information that the territorial system sends us.

Geographical information sciences, which have long posited the conceptual and methodological bases by which spatio-temporal dynamics can best be captured, characterise our research subjects. Research into formalisms and ontologies and the coupling between data bases and simulation tools feed this line of research, which is fundamental because it is necessary for the formalisation of the territory as an object from whatever angle it is addressed.

Territorial observations, Territorial information systems
The research presented finds scope for application and validation through the development of operational tools for monitoring, analysis and territorial 'foresight'. Several emblematic projects are worth mentioning here.
The Rêve d'avenir project, financed under the INTERREG IV programmes, the instrumentation part of which aimed to develop a tool for monitoring territories' energy and environmental performances known as '3x20 platform' in reference to the European objectives of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and covering 20% of energy needs through renewable energies. The aim is to centralise, quantify, spatialise and analyse energy savings, greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy production on territorial scale based especially on declarations from territorial actors (individuals, businesses, local authorities, especially).

The OPTEER (Observation and regional scale energy-related territorial foresight) project, funded by ADEME, Franche-Comté regional council and Greater Dole Council has now become the reference tool in Franche-Comté for energy and environmental issues.

OserFC is the Franche-Comté regional socio-economic observatory, developed by the ThéMA Laborarty in partnership with Franche-Comté regional development agency. In addition to classical cartographic representations on various scales, it enables users to define their own project territories and also enables direct alterations of the discretisation steps. This observatory, initiated on the scale of the Haute-Saône department, has been operating on regional scale since 2011.

Lastly, the professional footballers observatory (http://www.football-observatory.com/) is a Franco-Swiss project in conjunction with Neuchâtel Centre for Sports Studies. Alongside annual publications, research contracts have been undertaken with the relevant institutions (FIFA, UEFA).

Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January 2015 09:25

This line is fundamental for the overall consistency of the Territorial Intelligence team's work since it makes it possible to validate the conceptual and methodological propositions put forward while prompting new questions so as to make the solutions implemented operational.

Based on targeted issues often emanating from our traditional partners (local authorities, government services and associations especially), the 'Practices and Territories – Research-Action' area is designed, via the various functions represented by uses of the territory, their development and their management, to implement Territorial Intelligence concepts.

Evaluating the effectiveness of tools for territorial observation and analysis
The question that interests us here is that of the change in governance by decision-support tools. This hypothesis is not yet verified and the implementation of a number of suitable and now permanent decision-support tools prompts us to try to understand the mechanisms. We propose (1) to define the methods for analysing composite indicators produced by our tools and indicative of the quality of inter-partner collaboration and (2) to systematically observe to what degree regional planning decision-makers integrate certain knowledge from decision-support tools (e.g. by referring to the findings reached) and whether they change their decision-making practices as a consequence.

Applying Territorial Intelligence concepts, methods and tools to the issue of energy transition
The domain of energy is a research field that remains compartmentalised and interconnections among competencies, knowledge and technical, economic, environmental and societal achievements are still few and far between. Awareness of the importance of territorial action in this area is 'shifting boundaries' and ever more projects are including approaches from the hard sciences and human sciences (see the ambitions and work of the LIED http://www.lied-pieri-univ-paris-diderot.fr/).
We propose therefore in taking up this complex theme but with very high societal expectations to highlight the value of informational 'transparency' required for implementing composite territorial energy indicators and the power of collective approaches to constructing territorial knowledge tools. This research work is the subject of prospective action by GDR MAGIS and of funding applications (ANR ETTIC pre-project, TELEM project).

Cooperative and participatory observations
The Catalyse method provides numerous examples (91 experiments in Europe) of observatories developed for multi-sector development partners acting for sustainable development and socio-ecological transition. Studies have been undertaken within the European Network of Territorial Intelligence to introduce awareness of governance into these monitoring and evaluation tools.

Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November 2014 10:30

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:46
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