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Edited by Jean-Christophe Dissart and Natacha Seigneuret

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Jean-Christophe Dissart and Natacha Seigneuret

This chapter makes some introductory comments on the book. Focusing on the main terms of the book title, it positions the book within the literature by defining the concept of territory and by explaining the shifts that have occurred in the perception of what local resources are and what the goals of development should be. Basically, as there has been a shift from a commodity-based to a service-based economy, and as growth has been challenged as the ultimate goal of development, the notion of what constitutes a resource is not fixed over time and depends upon local stakeholder action, while well-being and quality of life have replaced growth as multidimensional concepts to promote and strive for. The chapters included in this book explore these changes and shed light on examples of such changes. This introduction also presents the structure of the book and provides extended abstracts for each chapter. The concluding section takes a step back to outline the key contributions and general findings of this collective work.

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Gilles Novarina and Natacha Seigneuret

Since the beginning of the 2000s, in several European cities, territorial planning strategies have included climate change adaptation objectives to bring about an economic, social and ecological transition. Focusing on energy as a local resource, Novarina and Seigneuret examine the new local strategies of energy transition and the modes of governance that underpin them. The initial comparative analysis of 20 European cities leads them to focus on three cases: Bristol (England), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany) and Grenoble (France). The in-depth study, based on document analysis and in situ investigations, enables them to understand the drivers of urban ecosystems that foster the emergence of social and technological innovations in order to manage energy at the local level. In particular, the analysis shows a process of cooperation aimed at reducing technological uncertainty and increasing the stakeholders’ innovation skills, but with local specificities: an integrated and inclusive strategy in Freiburg; an objective-based, pragmatic approach in Bristol; and an incremental strategy, based on demonstration projects, in Grenoble. Overall, the analysis shows that the differences between territorial energy strategies do not stem primarily from a differentiated endowment of resources but rather from the diversity of actors, their degree of mobilisation and the extent to which they share the same vision of the qualities of the territory they inhabit and the potential to transform it.

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Natacha Seigneuret and Jean-Christophe Dissart

This book emphasises the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to understand the links between territorial actors, territorial resources and well-being. In Part I, the researchers observe that territorial resources, whatever their nature, force the actors to work towards new standards and to develop an endogenous collective intelligence that takes into account exogenous changes to their territories. The chapters in Part II focus on the relational resources that develop on the territories and contribute to people’s well-being. Beyond the plurality of theoretical positions, all the researchers note that, while social relationships are essential to people’s well-being, their complexities require that analytical frameworks be renewed with interdisciplinary approaches. Based on a wide array of research topics, this book makes it possible to capitalise on the knowledge that has been built up regarding territories and to disseminate it to various audiences and actors in the territory. In this way, the book helps to strengthen the links between actors and researchers and to facilitate the interface between research and current societal issues.

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Edited by Jean-Christophe Dissart and Natacha Seigneuret

Using empirical evidence, this book argues for a more comprehensive view of the diversity of local resources and well-being from a territorial perspective. The first part of the book addresses the contrasting nature of local resources: in connection with proximity and governance, the ground, the past, cultural heritage sites, the snow, and energy. Well-being from multiple perspectives is examined in the second part, shedding light on sociabilities vs. income level, accessibility for pedestrians, health via urban design, life course trajectories as indicators of quality of life, and the connection between amenities and social justice.