Projects Dissertation Defences

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

Christophe Mimeur is defending his PhD thesis "The traces of speed between space and network - Geohistorical approach to the growth of the French Railway Network" on December 9th 2016 in Dijon

The defense will take place at the "Salle du Conseil de l’UFR Droit, au rez-de-chaussée du Bâtiment Droit-Lettres de l’Université de Bourgogne" (4 boulevard Gabriel, 21000 DIJON). This work was directed by Thomas Thévenin.

Defense jury

Corinne BLANQUART, Research Director at the IFSTTAR,

Anne BRETAGNOLLE, Professor at the University Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne,

Valérie FACCHINETTI-MANNONE, Associate Professor at the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté,

Jordi MARTI-HENNEBERG, Professor at the University of Lleida, Spain

Thomas THEVENIN, Professor at the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté


The interaction between space and network are frequently questioned in the academic literature, by asking the economical and demographical impacts of a new infrastructure, often studied at the scale of a project. This work aims to investigate the components of the interaction in both large spatial and temporal scales. The hypothesis is that the temporal depth and the national scale could bring new explanations. This work is based on the collect, the exploitation and the analysis of the large spatio-temporal database FRANcE (French Railway Network). It identifies all sections of the network since the 19th century and the population census. This database also contains the traces of the speed, which are novel information for network, and allows the accessibility to become a decisive variable in the explanations.

Rather than acquisition new data with an intensive phase of collect, we aim to build a methodological chain to study the two senses of interaction between space and network. It requires the adaptation of data structuration and analysis. The approach of this thesis consists on the growing modelling of the phenomenon, from the comprehension to formalization of data to the analysis, which requires the use of other disciplines. This work uses the graph theory to investigate the two senses of the relationship. It permits to study the network effect in the long run by diversifying the data to identify spatial and temporal ranges. It permits to study the impact of a pre-existing structure in the morphogenesis of the network, by using a dynamic model of network evolution, between diffusion and hierarchical organization. This work aims to understand the link between space and network, where the methodological tools can be adapted to other networks, other times and actual questioning.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:27

 Justin Emery is defending his PhD thesis "The City Under Electrodes : from the observation to the evaluation of traffic air pollution towards a multi-agent simulation of urban road traffic" on November 17th 2016 in Dijon.

The defense will take place at "Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Dijon" (6 esplanade Erasme, 21000 DIJON). This work was co-directed by Thomas Thévenin and Nadège Martiny.

Defense jury

BADARIOTTI Dominique, Professor at the University of Strasbourg

JOSSELIN Didier, Research Director at the CNRS, ESPACE

MARILLEAU Nicolas, Research Engineer at the IRD-UMMISCO, UPMC

MARTINY Nadège, Associate Professor at the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

SANDERS Lena, Research Director at the CNRS, Géographie-Cités

THEVENIN Thomas, Professor at the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté


Based on surveys, traffic is constructed from assumptions about the relationship between origins and destinations. In order to rebuild a road traffic wich would be closer to observation and on a wider set of road sections, it appears interesting to use counting data from urban sensors : this is our starting point of view. The insertion of these in-situ dataset in the road traffic measurement provides the opportunity to experience the potential of sensors to estimate Traffic Air Pollution (TAP) levels at the intraurban scale. However, this requires to change the nature of these estimation, here through the construction of a model of multi-agents simulation, in order to extract more information on the road traffic. More generally, this work can be seen as a a knowledge building approach on TAP emisssions which is discussed throughout this work.

The implementation of the SCAUP (multi-agent simulation from Urban sensors for traffic air pollution) approach was developped in three stages: 1. Focusing on the quantification of road traffic devices through urban sensors; 2. Proposing a modeling approach for road traffic data simulation ; 3. Using as a reference the national framework used by AASQA to calculate RTA emissions. All is integrated within a technical matrix that forms the spine of the manuscript through three interrelated systems: quantification, modeling and evaluation. This work is part of an experimental approach dedicated to the calculation of TAP emissions based on traffic simulations. Sponsored by the ATMOSF’AIR BOURGOGNE local AASQA, this work could also be used in an operational mode for these organizations in charge of the air quality monitoring. At a time when the big data enters into new questions about the ability of researchers to extract knowledge, we propose a geographical approach that enables to replace the data in the center of an original road traffic simulation approach (data- driven).

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:28

Yohan Sahraoui is defending his PhD thesis on December the 1st 2016 in Besançon.

The defense will take place at UFR SLHSn rue Chifflet at Besançon on December the 1st 2016 at 14H30. This work was co-directed by Jean-Christophe Foltête and Céline Clauzel.

Defense jury

Marc ANTROP, Professor at the University of Gand,

Jacques BAUDRY, Research Director at the INRA,

Céline CLAUZEL, Associate Professor at the University Paris-Diderot,

Marianne COHEN, Professor at the University Paris-Sorbonne,

Jean-Christophe FOLTÊTE, Professor at the University of Franche-Comté,

Thomas HOUET, Associate researcher at the CNRS,


Landscape is both a backdrop to the lives of human populations and a medium for the life cycle of animal species. Landscape changes induced by land-use and land-cover dynamics affect both these dimensions, the one aesthetic, and the other ecological. Because these rationales are usually studied within different disciplines, little research has been done into how the two clash or combine as and when landscape structures change. This work seeks therefore to model the spatial co-evolution of the aesthetic and ecological functions of landscape retrospectively using spatial metrics based on land-cover data. It focuses on changes in the urban fringes of two French cities (Paris and Besançon) over the last 30 years.

The approach attempts first to use land-cover data to model (1) the landscape preferences of a set of individuals and (2) the ecological connectivity of a set of animal species. Drawing on both multivariate statistical analysis and spatial analysis, the core of this work consists in investigating how the two functions have evolved in convergent or divergent ways over time. The results provide fresh insight into the relationship between landscape aesthetics and landscape ecology and raise questions about the value of spatial modelling for a landscape management approach that endeavours to reconcile the preservation of residents’ living environments and the conservation of biodiversity.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:27

The defense will take place at the Grand Salon, 18 rue Chifflet, Besançon down town. This work was co-directed by Serge Ormaux and Jacques Fontaine.

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Last Updated: Monday, 07 March 2016 13:05