LED2LEAP 2020 - Parc Regional Aubrac

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Area Natural Regional Park of Aubrac
Place Aubrac, Saint Chély d'Aubrac
Country France
Topics landscape / agriculture / natural area / village
Author(s) Rémy Teyssèdre
RTB 4920a.JPG

Landscape Democracy Rationale

  • Why do you think this community context is relevant from a landscape democracy perspective? What is your hypothesis considering the landscape democracy challenges?

Why do you think this community context is relevant from a landscape democracy perspective? What is your hypothesis considering the landscape democracy challenges?

Many groups have opposite points of view on this territory because haven't same uses and practices. Theirs waiting are opposites. But in Aubrac area, the landscape are very special, and people love them. They are an economic, identity and cultural wealth. They attract new inhabitants.

Landscapes are a transdisciplinary subject. With them we can talk about a lot of points. But the local social context is difficult and the landscape is already creating conflicts.

The scale of this territory is too big. But the political institution is adapted at landscape democracy. There are functionaries and elected who have a common project and the landscape do link between. I think the challenge is to create a device for democracy on the right scale, but some subjects are too dangerous to create exchanges. Caution is advised.

Location and scope

The Natural Regional Park is a political space and geographic. It's an institution, with elected, with functionaries, and is aim the economic help, agriculture and touristic development, natural area and river management...

Loading map...

Phase A: Mapping your Community

Welcome to your community and its landscape

The natural regional park of Aubrac is in the south of France, between two regions, three departments. He's composed to sixty-four municipalities. There are two area. The municipalities in the park, and municipalities associated to politic institution. It’s almost same. The area had always division and have many influences. It’s a young park created there are two years. It's a mountain. The valleys around the mountain is his limits.

For explain spatial characteristics; the valleys and the highway have the most important populations. There are lots of urbanization, commercial or housing. The plateau is more desert. The villages are smalls, there are only farmers, and tourism activities. And small snow station. In Laguiole the main village in the plateau, there are more art and craft. The knife of Laguiole, it's famous. The identity of this area is the agriculture, the cow “Aubrac”, the food and restaurants. The differences are big between valleys and plateau. Inhabitants in valley thinks that the Park is only in the mountain. There are not similar perception and regard.

There are ten landscape type. But, six are the principals. On the left, there are the less famous: more wilderness, less beautiful for people, the valleys of west area are less knows.

In the center of map, it's a landscape of steppe as in Mongolia created by farmers and monks of monastery on St James way. It’s the plateau, meadows are large open area of grassland with rare flowers. There are lots of rock and stone in the land-grass. It’s a territory very difficult with lots of relief, a climate strong, with snow and wind the winter and hot the summer. There are lots of problems in the area, as addiction to tourism, no activities in winter, the dependence to agriculture in endangered by crisis or by global warming, the isolation of the inhabitants and their ages.

  • graphical representations extract to the image of my PPT presentation

Groups of actors and stakeholders in your community

The population is ages and few. The young people go out of territory for students. Return only for holidays. In the past, people go work to Paris, now go to big cities. The agriculture its the main activity, but there are only a few of farmers. There are lots of power. Tourism is a strong but seasonal activity. Other activity as art and craft are less important, but take place in identity of territory. The new inhabitants help to not lower population, because no enough of birth.

The size of groups is unbalanced. Tourist people and secondary residents are the most important groups after local population, but they are on territory only in summer. The farmer groups, he is very important because with retirees and family, he is more powerful social group and very apparent. And the territory belongs to them. The more visible groups, are not the more important in number. Their aspiration landscapes are really interesting because they are very opposite. Economics point of view research productive landscape. Tourism professional, tourist people and outdoor recreation have common interest, the heritage, the wilderness and the traditional agriculture.

Groups more big :

- Local population

- Agricultural circles

- Craftmen, traders, entrepreneurs

- Local association of sport, heritage, leisure club...

- Hunters

- Secondary residents

- Tourism

Few important :

- Outdoor recreation (walker, cyclist, photograph, wild observer)

- Health professional

- Hosts and Restorers

- Elected local

  • graphical representations extract to the image of my PPT presentation

Relationships between your actors and groups

(max 200 signs)

This rural area has different social groups that the rest of France. As mountain area, the population is old and live with farming. But, here, the tourism is very important and this context is not common. The conflicts are large. There are two big breaking.

1) Farmers and people who practice the wilderness. Farmers are opposed to tourists, hunter and people who have outdoor recreations because shared the same space.

2) Residents and local inhabitants. Local population are opposed to secondary residents and tourists because the activities are very seasonal, real estate is more expensive…

Groups have common interests too:

- Hosts and Restorers, agricultural circle, and Craftsmen and trader have same economic interest.

- People with outdoor recreations, hunter, and tourist love the same area.

- The population's access to service and medicine is also an interest shared by a large number, and more particularly by the frail peoples.

But the shared spaces create problems more strong that pacts. The problem of global warming is becoming more important. However, there are many social spaces and events and the link between people are strong. The new populations are more critical and create more tension.

Summary of your learnings from the transnational discussion panel on April 22

The onlines seminars and the group discussion have allowed to broaden my knowledge on the landscape democracy with European approaches. The structure of exercise is strong, and she helped to organize the thinking and the project.

Theory reflection

Consultations and readings

  • The European Landscape Convention
  • The Just City Essays - 26 Visions for Urban Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity
  • Pledge for a Transformative Science - A conceptual framework


  • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

Phase B: Democratic Landscape Analysis and Assessment

The Scene in your Story of Analysis

During the presentation past I have explained the area of Natural regional park. For the story exercise I have chosen a village. Estaing present all problems of territory. Tourism addiction, no life in winter, few shops and in danger, very old population.

The challenge is : how to fight the abandon of landscape !

How do that the history center is not desert ? How do that forest no wind all territory and the last wine field ? How new people install in this village ? For this challenge, all people have to take place in the project ! For my story of analysis landscape, have chosen four places in the village and out of. The first and main is in the small street historic. There are old houses with no use, house with closed shutters. The second is in the vineyard next to the forest that has spread across the valley. The third is on the river beach, under the bridge where no one goes. The last is a shopping street with more and more closed shops.

The Actors in your Story of Analysis

My story characters are nine. They present the social-characteristics of village of Estaing. In the area there are four hundred seventy-five inhabitants. But in the village, only one hundred and fifty. There lots of retired people who live or are return live in the village. The young people are few. The children are very few, thirty pupils in primary school. Lots of people are present in the association.

The visual presents the characteristics of the characters

The Story of Analysis

1 The story begins with Jean-Paul. From the town hall window he waits for the team to come and install the project. Two people get out of a small truck and go towards it. He does not understand exactly the exercise with the landscape that begins. But he hopes for good results. The two people on the team list the furniture they want to install. In a small alley, they join the municipal employees to install the elements. From this historic street, the other three points are visible, the vines, the bridge, and the shopping street. Jean-Paul appreciates this place, but did not stop there very often to look at the landscape.

2 J.P indicates having printed the Flyer to distribute in the mailboxes with the elected officials. He also sent the article to the local newspaper. Everything seems ready.

3 Ten days later Ariane, informed by Jean-Paul, joins the group that formed. The indications on paper advised to take her hiking shoes. She knows everyone by sight. A facilitator begins the meeting. He presents the project: revitalize the town, village, agriculture, tourism... He explains that the group will travel around the village. He shares the 3 points of the visit. The landscape designer who accompanies him begins to read the landscape. Paul, the village grandpa who everyone knows and who knows the history of the village adds elements. He contradicts the landscaper when it is not correct. They continue on their way to the second point, and the third. At the end of the walk, the inhabitants each explain their landscape.

4 A late afternoon Saturday. Elia joins the new panels in the middle of the vineyard. There are already a few people, fifteen. The facilitator introduces himself and explains the exercise for the day. He said that a microphone was recording the conversations. Elements of the landscape analysis will be written on the panels, later.

Each in turn indicates the elements they know in the landscape. The elderly speak of vines that have almost disappeared. The three youngest explain enjoying the forests. Young and old appreciate different and opposite things Then everyone explains the positive or negative elements of the landscape. The relief and the 3 levels are appreciated by all. The group explain what they would like to change. Elia follows the instructions and writes her ideas for the landscape on paper and in the ballot box. She spoke with Robert and Régine. After workshop, the group returns to the village by hiking trails.

5 Next week Robert attends this second workshop. On the beach of the bridge, where he rarely goes, he sat around a large table covered with paper. The presenter explains the interest of this place, visible but deserted, from where you can see the history of the village: castle, church ... On the map in the center of the table, the twelve people indicate the places they frequent, which they know, do not know? Robert, Jean and Jean-Paul know almost everything. But no one seems to be walking around the river. The youngest, Télio, says that the riverbanks are not maintained. He would like to canoe but it is difficult. The workshop ends with a "fouace", a local cake and some raspberries offered by the bridge gardener.

6 Fourth workshop. The last. Jean will have missed nothing. This time, an urban planner its joint to the facilitator. It’s him who starts. Jean is very attentive. It completes the description of the town planner. From large to small landscapes, the process evolves. Today, it is the small landscape. Walls, gardens, doors, closed shutters. Jean will be the first to indicate that too many houses are closed. Some Parisians who come in the summer will feel targeted. The animator changes the subject and talks about all the houses available. The debate ends in the small abandoned places that everyone wants to arrange. A large meal was organized by the association with fruit and vegetables from the vegetable garden. Elias asks questions to Jean about the history of his house. He knows everything. These exchanges are very important between inhabitants. The history and stories are transmitted.

7 Christine looks at the new information on the panel covering an old shop window. She learns that four workshops have taken place. She reads different stories told by locals. She adds her story to a sheet and slips it into the ballot box. A tourist next to her too. He sees the map of the path. He is ready to go visit the four places.

8 and 9 The animator and the landscaper walk in the village. They have bags with lots of photos. One has a microphone. They meet the absent from the workshops. Télio, tells them that his grandmother can speak. She has a lot of stories. After the summer, the facilitators come to take the ballot boxes. They remove part of the furniture. But they leave the stories told by the locals. The rest of the project begins.

Reflect on your Story of Analysis

For my method, I tried to reach all people with events or with an installation in public space. Take place in the street and in natural areas before and after the workshop.

The four places are chosen to use the relief, the panorama, and to see the problems of territory. The relief is a specific characteristic of the valley. The analysis started with a distant landscape where you can see the geographic form. People are invited to talk about their habits, their uses. They speak of a very small landscape: house, wall, windows, garden, door. The landscape breaks down from large to small with the stories, the memories of the inhabitants, but also the contribution of tourists.

The workshops make it possible to identify leaders, resource people, but all people do not come. We have to adapt. Door to door can also be a solution for invisible people.

Phase C: Collaborative Visioning and Goal Setting

The Scene in your Story of Visioning

  • The rest of the story takes place in two places. The small and historic street where the device have take place, and the municipal entertainment room. The room become a workshop for participants.

During the process the participants have analysis the village and write these problems. I list in seven point. 1 / Less agricultural activity and closure of the landscape by forest.

2 / No connection with the river.

3 / loss of population.

4 / few animations in winter and numerous in summer.

5 / Lack of activities for a large audience, too focused on heritage.

6 / Abandonment of the architecture of the historic heart.

7 / Weakness of shops (too focused on tourism).

For resume the challenge, it’s fight against the abandonment of places, surrender to architecture to lands to shops.

The Actors in your Story of Visioning

The main characters are still there and new characters are invested in the challenge.

A young couple arrives in the village during the process. They seek to settle in the village.

The mayor is involved in the project and helps the participants.

Paul, a young vegetable producer, born in Estaing, is back to find land and set up his business. He invests the process.

Two tourists passing by Estaign and are interested in the village. They meet Jean who improvises as a historical guide and do visit the house to sale.

The rest of the process is organized around a small working group.

Each group continue its objective. The rest of process is long and take place during three months.

The Story of Visioning

  • View 1 :

The story continues after the first 3 workshops. Workshop n ° 4 and the previous ones made it possible to state the problems of the territory. At the end of the workshop, the group talks about central issues.

- Welcome new residents and new craftsmen.

- Reuse the vineyard terrace

- Reoccupy the historic center, shops and houses.

- Maintain the heritage and enhance it

- Organize events all year round

Jean, the grandfather very engaged in the project offer to measure the evolution into ten years. A vision of village in twenty-thirty is built.

  • View 2

At the workshop five, the project mediator lists the 7 objectives stated in previous workshops. - growth the population

- Connect the village to the river

- Install new agricultural projects and save wine terraces

- Suggest new tourist activities

- Help small businesses and welcome new activities

- Renovate and welcome residents of the center

- Create more winter activities for the locals people.

Jean screams a slogan and nobody have a better idea. Jean-Paul, the municipal councilor will like quantified objectives. He presents tomorow the result of process to municipality. After, the participants divided in small group and select a goal. They describe and define the goals and sub-goals.

  • View 3

For the next step, the subgroup meets a mediator who helps them to continue the project. They choose actions to achieve the goal.

Ric and Cloé, the new arrivals from the village and the group explain their problems in finding a house. Many actions are said by the groups. The group suggest to become real estate agents in order to repopulate the village. They launch this action and they organize their actions plan. They hope to welcome new residents.

  • View 4

Workshop n°7 : working group putting into practice The last two workshops are dedicated to carrying out the actions. Paul, a child from the village, joins the group and helps to make a video of house for sale announcements. The locals present their village and the housing to sell. The mayor helps the group find properties and their owners.

Workshop n°8 : working group and action. At the last workshop, the ads are published on newspaper, Facebook, YouTube. The municipality answer to interested people. Jean is improvised guide for tourist who say interested in village. History and house to sell are presented by Jean.

Reflect on your Story of Visioning

The table shows the steps in the process. First collective, the analysis allows everyone to observe the territory and show the problems. This inventory then makes it possible to propose objectives. Each goal is translated into action. In small groups, according to their affinities, residents suggest actions and realize.

The problem of this process is that he is very long. The locals can lost hope or haven't time for be implicated. The help of a mediator is very important. This project is very long, with many groups. If the participants are few, the process will need to be changed. The municipality will have to participate in the project and drive some goals and actions.

Phase D: Collaborative Design, Transformation and Planning

Your Prototyping Action

For answer to the challenge, during the precedent sessions, we have defined seven goals. Several can be prototyping. Drawing a new way around the river, make a film for imagine the futur of village, welcome new tourists activities in abandoned shops, realize a cultural program for winter activities. Other actions are more difficult for prototyping : create farming in terraces, welcome new vineyard men.

I have chosen to present the action on abandoned houses, that I have explain the last session. His action can be developed for a subject similar : the shop closed. If the prototype is good, we can imagine the implement on the closed shops. The project created by group can be developed by municipality, who pay professional video and pay a real estate study. The action consist of create a real estate agency for present the abandoned house to new people. The inhabitants present their village and explain the quality of life. They present the houses for sale in video, on a newspaper article, and on an internet site. The goal is that the houses aren't abandoned and that the inhabitants are more many. For this goal other action have being suggested. Imagine transformation with an architect, create garden in center by the destruct to houses no habitable. The action that I have choose is interesting because she implies the inhabitants and maybe owners.

The Evolution of Your Prototyping Action

The project schedule takes place over three months. The work meeting is done with a small team interested in the project. During the first two working meetings, they choose the action to be carried out and realize an action plan. They use a table to list the positive and negative points and the most interesting action. A map objective is used to define central goals and other benefits.

During the seven working meetings, the team searched for all the abandoned houses, helped by the mayor and the older inhabitants who know the old families. They contact the owners to have their agreement. The subgroups write a script and a storyboard for the advertising video. They make a template for real estate ads and list the materials.

During the eight and perhaps nine working meetings, the team shot the video and published articles on the Internet and newspapers.

Finally, the film is projected in the street for all the inhabitants. A debate is launched.

The tools are given by the animator who guides the team. He organize all sessions. He sees how the session is going, and if the test is not interesting, he looks for another answer.

The Plan Behind Your Prototyping Action

The action plan, on the left, details all the actions to make the prototype. To start, a short list of ten houses is created with the help of the mayor and the community worker. The owners are contacted for their agreement. After this first phase, we can develop the project and the communication supports. Script, storyboard, ad template ....

In the end, to inform local populations, the film is present on the street during an event. A storefront is used to display all of the ads.

The project uses Paul's videographer skills and knowledge of Paul who knows all of the locals and history. The other team project partners learn town planning and owner law.

All the sessions take place in the municipal hall. The mayor and the community agent help the team in their research and inform the assistance to new residents.

The Realization of Your Prototyping Action

I focus on a work meeting to explain the exercise. The facilitator provides the tools for all stages. To start, a village map is used to list all the abandoned houses. Then, once the list is complete, the group works on the contact letter. The storyboard and script are used to imagine the story and prepare for filming. The skills of videographer Paul member of the team is interesting. The facilitator uses his skills. When all the models are ready, the work meeting ends and people eat a cake. Friendliness is very important during the participation project. Each inhabitant helps with their skills. Some bring their knowledge, others help to manufacture.

The facilitator organizes all session, make tools, inform the municipality. Is role is central.

Reflect on Your Prototyping Action

I can hope for several changes. The first are linked to problems. I think there are several objectives. The first is that the houses are not abandoned. The second is that the heritage of the medieval center is protected. The third is that new residents are coming to the village, children in schools and adult labor in the village. The last is that village has more life.

But to assess the interest of the prototype, I think that if the premises and the owners are interesting by project, it'is win. But if the prototype attracts new people, not necessary to buy a house, it is a success. It is good enough for the municipality to develop the project and pay a professional video with the inhabitants, carry out an urban planning project.

I used the design methodologies. There is a link with the sequential strategy. The diagram process presents the situation. I think there are many other prototypes and answers that can help solve the problem. There is not just one way.

Phase E: Collaborative Evaluation and Future Agendas

Collaborative Evaluation and Landscape Democracy Reflection

The first challenge consist to answer with inhabitants to the problem of the abandonment of the territory. The population is few, and more and more little. It’s abandonment concern the farming activities too, the local shops and less strong the tourism. Mainly, four elements of sustainable Development Goals are relevant of my context. The first is the DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. In this rural area there are few job. Lots of family go to neighboring city for their job. But there are many opportunities in biologic farming, in tourism, if the community develop project.

INDUSTRIES INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE is the second goal. For develop the projects, the municipality must create or improve infrastructures. The elements are present, but in bad condition. There aren't need big infrastructures, only way for tourism, renovate heritage, terraces for vineyard and new project.

The infrastructure must be good for territory and in agreement with the landscape. The third is the SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES. The village have lots of houses and heritage without occupation. It is a resource for develop the village. In the past the same village have over one thousand five hundred inhabitants, against less five hundred today. And with the agricultural area, they can develop projects sustainable.

The last is the LIFE ON LAND. Is goal is in link to the work of human. In the past, the community have created lots of ecosystems by the agriculture. The vineyard, with is terrace, is an artificial ecosystem very rich, that the forest eat because there are less and fewer activities.

All community goals, with a vision, of inhabit the territory, are goals for long run.

The Actors in your Collaborative Evaluation

The participants of project are mainly the inhabitants. In the first phase there are many, but during the prototyping, there are less, because this phase take more time and request more involvement of people. The involvement of large group of people is very interesting because she testifies of their interest. More the group is important and more the listening of elected and of power structure are bigger.

The mediator and the process of project have a central rôle. They are the interface between inhabitants and municipality or another institution. Elected, owners or public agents are more listened a group who develop a project, that twenty people who explain their ideas at the mayor. Together, they are more strong and there is a collective consciousness and energy.

The mediator can be more present, and involved elected more in the participatory process. This link to local power is important for facilitated the implement of actions and the help of electeds and all resources during the prototyping.

Reflection of the Online Seminar

The exercise offert by the team of Led2 help me during my PHD project. I have done a focus on landscape and on the link with the participatory process.

The seminar Led2 and his tools is very interesting, specially all the example of project. They present many tools, methods, and implement all different. On the field, the context is very strong, and the example that you have expose are done in many situations.

The COVID, for me isn’t directly a problem, because I’m not in a team. With the crisis I have more time for do seminar's exercises that in normal situation I can't do.

But when I think at the precedent testing, with the natural regional park, the COVID-19 would have created lots of problems. The elderly population is very concerned by crisis and is very brittle in all territory. Do a participatory process during the COVID-19, is very difficult. Elected and institution don't take risks.

The work phases serve the lining lab, but sometime she is long or repetitive.

Reflection of the Living Lab Process

The greatest outputs of project are the dynamic created between inhabitants and the awareness of locals problems by people. When they take a place for changing situation, I think that is the better. The last week I have evaluated the prototype and is interesting to do the link with the global process. The goals are almost same. The visibility is the thirst goal, but for transform the village, it’s a very long process. The transformations will be visible in 10 years. For measure the performances, the involve of a large part of resident is a good indicator. The goal is changed the mind, not necessary transform immediately the problem. It takes time !

Your Living Lab Code of Conduct

The next step for the landscape challenge is to measure interest of prototype and present the action plan and all project to the municipality. If they measure the interest of project we can imagine that they implement all action, with more means. This link with mayor and elected is very important. To convince them is essential for the continuation of the project. Often, without their agreements, no project is possible, participation or not. In general, they are not very open to participatory process because they don't know well.

The principal that I'm learning from the LED seminar is the steps of process and the sequence. And, I have see tools, like design process, no used in landscape project in France. It’s tools that I use, but I don’t see landscape designer use them. This diversity of tools and example is of great interest.

Process Reflection

  • What limitations have you encountered?

The project imagined during the seminar cannot accurately reflect reality. The participants can be more or less numerous, more or less involved. It is difficult to imagine the process correctly without interlocutors.

  • What would you do differently next time?

I would develop more action on the landscape, and I would explain two or three ways of prototyping the ideas of the inhabitants.