As a feature of the living environment, landscape is apprehended here as an interface between individuals and the spaces that they frequent and perceive. As such, landscape is addressed via several research fields:
Modelling of spatial forms (land use, topography) and the visible landscape
This line of research is part of the general framework of studies of land-cover and land-use change (LC-LUC) and extends it to landscape dynamics induced by land-use changes. Three directions are given precedence: problems raised by observations on multiple scales; the unequal carry over of land-use changes in changes in the visible landscape; the use of output from urban growth simulation models (cf. work by ThéMA's Mobility, Cities and Transport team) as input for landscape 'prospectives'. This work has given rise to a study of Ile-de-France fringes (franges franciliennes) for the MIATT of the Paris Basin and a typology of rural spaces (espaces ruraux) for the DATAR by the consortium of UMR CESAER, ThéMA, DTM and METAFORT.
The role of landscape considered as one of the amenities affecting residential location choices
This research is conducted in conjunction with UMR CESEAR of the INRA Dijon. The amenities provided by a pleasant landscape are residential choice factors whose impact on territories should be evaluated. By matching land market data and landscape attributes of properties bought and sold, the hedonic price econometric method reveals the specific influence of these attributes on transaction prices. In parallel a complementary study (Samy Youssoufi's PhD thesis) has been conducted on landscape amenities as stated by households. One of the important aspects of this work was identifying the most relevant spatial indicators for representing landscape quality in households' living environments. This research has been extended to analysis of the economic value of climate, especially by a project for economic modelling of heliotropism as it affects the land market.
The integration of landscape in the territorial dimension via the question of landscape mediatisation.
How is landscape called on to bring out a joint project shared within a territory? What landscape information and communication media are used in mediation operations and participatory debate and with what results or what obstacles? The question of the mediatisation of landscape is a corollary to the question of its mediation. The research bears on the discourse and iconography produced by territorial actors. Similarly, the mediatisation of landscapes via postcards was the subject of a PhD thesis defended by the Laboratory'sr Jean-Baptiste Litot in January 2010.