Cycle Terre (Earth Cycle)

Large scale works face the issue of rubble: this represents about 90 per cent of building and public works waste. Cycle Terre (Earth Cycle) aims to recycle non-polluted excavated earth to build crude earth buildings in new neighborhoods in the Greater Paris. What is considered unusable and cumbersome waste today may in fact become a formidable resource. In the coming years, it is possible to build millions of square meters by reusing earth from worksites, rather than storing it, which would decrease the impact on natural resources and the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

This initiative by the City of Sevran and Grand Paris Aménagement is supported by the European Union in the framework of the FEDER Programme-Urban Innovative Action (2018-21). It gathers twelve partners.

CERI-Sciences Po researchers Eric Verdeil and Agnès Bastin are part of Cycle Terre. Their research offers a reflexive analysis of the governance process of this project, i.e. creating an experimental value-chain reusing excavated earth for construction and planning. The objective is to understand how this framing structures public action, from actors’ mobilization to the actual implementation of the policy. The study aims to explain the evolution of the project through the analysis of internal regulation mechanisms as well as the analysis of the interplay with the local, regional, national and European settings along the project’s implementation phases. This analysis will identify the factors of this evolution, from the launch to the implementation of the project, through examining the relations between institutions (State/metropolitan authorities/municipality), between the local government levels (mostly the municipality), the public planning agencies (Société du Grand Paris, Grand Paris Aménagement) and the private actors of urban construction, as well as residents’ associations. This will allow to identify the potential blockages and how to solve them.