Le Bivic C., Melot R.
Scheduling urbanization in rural municipalities: local practices in land-use planning on the fringes of the Paris region
Land Use Policy, 2020, 99.
In French metropolitan areas, urban sprawl is tending to increase outside of the conurbation and its close periurban ring, and to expand to peripheral rural municipalities. In the Paris region, even though the major part of land converted for urbanization is concentrated in periurban areas, this land consumption is accelerating much faster in small rural municipalities located on the fringes of the region. Our inquiry is based on a sociological approach to the planning process. Our research explores the design and implementation of local land-use plans in rural areas, with a particular focus on the scheduling of development zones. It draws on an original quantitative analysis of zoning bylaws and on qualitative field research based on a sample of interviews with mayors and local administrative staff. In this study we assume that the particular characteristics of urban planning in rural areas influence the scheduling of urbanization. Hence, local public decisions concerning future urbanization are likely to be more unstable and the strategic timetable of the projects may be more difficult to maintain in the long run. Furthermore, as national and regional guidelines are focused on the containment of urban sprawl in the periurban ring, more leeway is granted to small rural municipalities on the more remote periphery. The steering of the planning process by local public authorities in rural areas is also more open to co-design with private initiatives from small development and building companies that also have their particularities (as they are specialized in the rural land market).
Keywords : Rural, Planning, Urbanisation, Urban sprawl, Development

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