Ingénierie territoriale et référentiels du développement territorial

Abstract : Delimitating the territory for a project often based on the argument of proximity encourages a unified volunteer engagement of the people living in the area. In this way, it is a system of reference on representations and values, epistemological options and praxeological orientations. Applied to territorial development, it maps out the range of perceptions of reality for scientists, politicians, development professionals and citizens in the territory. It structures the actions of the community by cognitively enriching the territorial development and its engineering, the first step towards pragmatic regulation of public action. However, the management of the interdependences and the growing technicality of territorial policies imply selecting the actors on the basis of competency, with abilities related to "knowledge of the territory". Thus, territory and proximity knowledge are linked to establish a domination based on the creation of a professionalization space for political careers of which the development agents, pivoting actors in territorial engineering, will appear at the top. For some of them, a logic of professionalization based on monopolizing knowledge and representations of territorial development joins the logic of monopolization of the representation of local society by the elected officials. Also, do professionals in the field of politics, either elected or non-elected, agree on the emphasis of proximity as a basis of their actions, badly hiding a vertical division of political work in which the manager of the territory is the elected one? This logic is reinforced by the agencification of public action that gives more to managerial knowledge than is due. In this way, proximity, non-political character and good practices support the locally elected official's personal legitimacy of his/her abilities to help the population beyond the partisan cleavage. It is consequently the institutionalization of local democracy under the form of a public space that is muffled since local democracy is supposed to be quenched when elected officials and citizens confront each other. This logic of proximity can hinder the opening of territorial development to the dilettantes' knowledge and participative democracy that involves the creation of a defined local public space defined as a place for debates and development of political opinions that question the legitimacy of power, representations and mobilized knowledge. In other words, reflexive knowledge by creating a territorial development public space compete with the mediatorial function of the elected official who holds the monopoly of the expression and translation of public opinion in order to produce public action.
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Dany Lapostolle. Ingénierie territoriale et référentiels du développement territorial. 1ère Conférence Intercontinentale d'Intelligence Territoriale "Interdisciplinarité dans l'aménagement et développement des territoires", Oct 2011, Gatineau, Canada. pp.11. ⟨halshs-00960943⟩

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