English version

LIFTI (Laboratory of Innovative Land and Territorial Initiatives) is a french “fonds de dotation” (similar to a foundation, to a endowment fund) created on December 31, 2016. This presentation provides the main information on the activity of LIFTI and its members (last page below).



The LIFTI Three-Year Programme 2020 -2022




The first Board of Directors of LIFTI was held, following its official creation on 31 December 2016, on 1 February 2017 and had adopted a three-year multi-year programme which ends at the end of this year 2019.

Organised around land issues that seemed to be a priority at the time, LIFTI’s action has developed over these three years in the field of opening up socio-economic data on land and real estate, promoting the recycling of wasteland as a new paradigm of urban development and reached a high point at the National Land and Territory Conference organised by LIFTI in Toulouse last December (2019).

The first stage of the project led by the creators of LIFTI is now achieved.


LIFTI is now identified as a real resource centre for land and regional development through its ability to bring together issues and meeting of the actors, and, by expanding its institutional, financial and operational partnerships, LIFTI can envisage continuing its « offer » of collaborative work for a further three years.

By revisiting the subjects we invested in 2017, it is important to note both their permanence and the speed with which the actors decide to wok on them.


Indeed, making Open Data for Land was a Copernican revolution that had to be accomplished and today it has been done. No, it does not solve all the questions of knowledge about how real estate and land markets work, and we will have to look further into the mechanisms of how they work and how they are linked together.

How can we improve the quality and completeness of open data? How can we ensure its interoperability with the territorial data mode and thus achieve real market transparency and regulation objectives? These are the lines of investigation that will naturally extend the work of the DVF Gn and the LIFTI Open Data cluster.


Likewise, taking up the issue of wasteland by going beyond the historical framework of the conversion of old industrial regions to make it a subject « all territories combined » impacted by the digitalization of the production of goods and services was not just a whim of former directors of the EPF (= public institution for land politics) , but rather the awareness of a deep change in the deposits concerned today by the challenges of urban planning.


How can the recycling of wasteland be seen in the broader context of the circular land economy and how can concrete solutions be found to enable a « return to employment »?

This is the issue before the committee and the Recycling Brownfield Cluster in the context of this new programme.


Finally, after Lille in 2011 and Bordeaux in 2013, the National Land (and Territorial) Conferences held in Toulouse confirmed the enormous need for meetings and exchanges on all these land issues, which are simply a reflection of the social issues that cross our territories and mobilise their stakeholders.

This is the wave that will carry the new committee that will be set up within LIFTI to « accompany the territories in their land strategies » and enable all stakeholders to capitalise and then share the fruit of their reflections and experiences in the ongoing preparation of the National Land (and Territorial) Conferencethat will be held every two years.


In support of this approach, we share with Business Immo the ambition to relaunch the review Etudes Foncières (et Territoriales?) and to make it a real tool for knowledge and dialogue between the actors of the land sector.


And what about the legal aspect in all this?

LIFTI has set up a Legal Committee which it hopes will become a resource centre for all legal issues relating to town planning, the environment and regional development.

In a society prey to doubts and in search of new meanings, how can we (re)define the public utility, the collective interest in the management of the public and private heritage of which we are custodians either as individuals or as communities?


These are the red threads that will structure this new programme of investigation that LIFTI will carry out with the support of its founding members, its donors, its partners from the corporate world, its institutional partners, but also with the commitment of its senior experts and the young resources of the academics who agree to work with us.



The three-year programme 2020-2022 is divided into three project committees:

– the Committee Organizing Land Data,

– the committee Accompanying the territories in their land strategies,

– the Committee to promote the circular land economy,

of two support committees:

– the Legal Committee,

– the Scientific Committee,

and a transversal action: Capitalizing and sharing knowledge.



To organize the data of the land




Initiated at the end of 2018 and active since 2019, the setting up of the GNDVF/LIFTI working groups led to the creation of eight working groups, structured around 3 axes (structure / use / segment).

Among the work undertaken, we should note the support for the publication « the digital turnaround of real estate data: permanence and recomposition », as well as the launch of a new experiment on the territory of the Rouen conurbation.

The assessment of this (short) exercise – confirms the enthusiasm and motivation of private and public players to work together to improve knowledge of land and property markets (in particular with the joint LIFTI/GnDVF request addressed to the DGFiP (National public board of taxation) aimed at improving the data disseminated in Open Data).


While the dissemination of DVF (land public data) in open data has supported this momentum, the data, which is now stripped of essential information and, moreover, is still poor in terms of the qualification of land activities or changes in use (non-exhaustive), does not allow its full reuse, particularly in the field of observation or for the development of land strategies.


In view of the results of the previous three-year period and for greater clarity, a reorganization of the working groups and the committee’s missions will be proposed – in full coordination with the DVF national group – around four objectives:


1) Improve the quality and interoperability of land data (work on the accuracy and maintenance of the dialogue with the DGFiP for the restoration and enrichment of DVF, facilitate cross-referencing with other data).


2) Create shared method repositories (to constitute a common minimum methodological base, in particular to make the DVF data a tool for dialogue shared by all).


3) Capitalise on feedback and promote good practices (identify and share work that mobilises land data and encourage the emergence of new uses), in particular through the support of local or regional networks and by disseminating innovative approaches (e.g. the demonstrator of land charges for new housing in Nantes Metropole).


4) Densify the communication component and user training (make better use of available communication vectors and diversify the training offer).


A diagnosis of uses and needs, which may take the form of an audit, will be necessary before undertaking any complete restructuring of the groups, in particular to identify uses or needs outside the radar and to better identify the different targets targeted by the groups (public and private players – operators, service providers, property experts…, academics…) – whose expectations and levels of use cover a broad spectrum. This work will begin rapidly – in the first quarter of 2020 – with a small team to be set up around the Committee’s three referees and in a format yet to be defined (individual interviews and/or « marathon » audit…).



Supporting territories in their land strategies



The committee’s ambition is to respond to several difficulties linked to a crying need for engineering and a lack of clarity about what land and territorial strategies can be. It must be said that the latter are extremely complex (interlocking scales, multiplicity of actors, territorial diversity, new procedures, etc.).


The committee will be organised along two main lines :

1) on the one hand knowledge and generalisation of experiences carried out in territories that can serve as a reference.


2) On the other hand, tools and implementation.


It will endeavour to establish a common base of knowledge, even if only semantic, and to break down expertise that is often too thematic. Several works are already underway or possible: Territorial Artificial Intelligence (experimentation carried out by the Foundation of the University of  Bretagne Sud (Southern Brittany), the impacts of the reform of the cadastral rental values of activities on the territorial centralities etc.



Promoting the circular land economy




The continuation and expansion of the work of the « Recycling Brownfields » committee is part of a dynamic that aims to :


.Give a positive meaning to the work of depollution, deconstruction, asbestos removal, etc…, for public health and the preservation of the environment, and consequently remove their negative image of destruction « as a last resort » when no other solution is possible.


. Give a new impetus to LIFTI’s actions in favour of the treatment of all wastelands, as the main lever of action for a policy of attractiveness, qualitative and more sustainable transformation of the territories.


. Consequently, to contribute to the promotion of a circular land economy based on operational processes of land development (which should be objectively assessed), the term land development being understood in a broader sense: economic, but also environmental, social and societal.


The committee’s working groups will act in continuity with those set up for the recycling of wasteland and will deal with the following priority themes:


1) The constitution, operation and monitoring of a national network of inventories, on the bases defined by the « Wargon » working group co-facilitated by LIFTI and the Association des Maires de France : territorial and temporal land reference system, interoperability. The expectations of current and potential users will be given a prominent place, particularly with a view to mobilising wastelands and, more generally, available land areas.


2) The contribution to the development of a « transitional urban planning » which is understood as a new approach to the temporal and spatial dimensions of urban planning: taking into account successive and transitory sequences of treatment, occupation and development, reflection on the notion of reversibility, widening the « field of possibilities » in terms of land reuse, etc. It will be necessary to capitalize on experiences and to encourage innovations.


3) Participation in the fight against climate change and the erosion of biodiversity, as major environmental challenges that can find answers in the process of reconverting degraded land. The aim is not only to address the direct impacts of land use (coastal submersion, flooding, risks, etc.) but above all to better understand and anticipate the mechanisms of biodiversity evolution, particularly on wasteland, and to promote the use of land for sustainable development, compatible and sustainable, such as: the development of renewable energies, the integration of biodiversity in cities (nature in cities) or the restoration of degraded land to create real compensation zones.

The quality of soil, the raw material of land, is a prerequisite for the redevelopment of an ecosystem that is as diverse as possible and compatible with its environment. This involves identifying deposits, providing feedback to be widely disseminated, resolving contradictions (biodiversity versus development, for example) and dealing with blockages of all kinds.


4) The contribution to the objective of « zero net artificialisation », which implies reconverting wasteland as a priority, defining relevant « balance sheet perimeters » and imagining how to finance de-artificialization operations.

A specific think-tank and research group on the circular land economy will work across the board, drawing on feedback from professionals in the conversion of wasteland and on high-level academic and research work.


All of these subjects will be addressed by mobilising the professionals concerned within a cluster with the watchword: no land should be left unused, and any wasteland should be reused. The whole question is to know what, with whom, how and in what timeframe to do with it. To meet this challenge of change, it is essential to call on all the « trades » and all the « disciplines » of transformation. This mobilisation will be based on active regional networks (associations, clusters, competitiveness clusters, professional federations, etc.) and by sector, which will make it possible to share work and ideas, to highlight exemplary projects and achievements, to promote symposia and conferences and to support partnership, technical and regulatory approaches aimed at removing bottlenecks and boosting the implementation of projects. In this way, we will seek to articulate and reconcile bottom-up and top-down approaches.


The actions of the « Promoting the circular land economy » committee will be carried out transversally with the other thematic and transversal committees of LIFTI, in particular by working closely with the « Organising land data » committee and the legal committee, and by

ensuring consistency and convergence of concerns with the committee « Supporting territories in their land strategies ».



The Legal Committee



Reminder :


LIFTI’s work has raised legal issues both in the field of Open Data on land (data opening/protection of personal data) and in the field of brownfield sites, which led to the explicit setting up of a Working Group (No. 3) on the legal status of brownfield sites in the 2017 programme. In 2018, this concern was concretized by the creation of a « LIFTI Legal Committee » whose purpose was to :


  1. to answer the various legal questions that LIFTI members may encounter in their investigations within the working groups,


  1. to deal with the legal questions that changes in the company raise within the scope of LIFTI,


  1. to propose to the administration and the legislator changes in the texts that govern the land, real estate and more generally the balanced development of territories.


This committee was supported by a few members of LIFTI, surrounded by an initial circle of experts who agreed to participate in the committee’s work either on a permanent basis or on specific subjects. A balance between practising lawyers and other experts was sought.

During 2019, this committee met on average once a month and organised a conference on 10 October 2019 in partnership with the Environmental Lawyers’ Club on the theme of Urban Planning and Biodiversity, which brought together more than 200 participants.


The fields of reflection for 2020-2022 :

Meetings of the Committee have given rise to the idea of contributing to a reformulation of the legal frameworks that should enable players in the real estate markets and public or private land management to cope with the uncertainties that have developed over the last few years in the fields of urban planning, the environment and land use planning.


This issue raises the question of the relevance of legal tools whose conception originally dates back to the 1969 Loi d’Orientation Foncières and which are now faced with the challenges of climate emergency and the reversal of the satisfaction of real estate development needs towards the existing urban fabric. At the heart of this issue is the question of wastelands, whose work in 2017 had shown the great disparity of legal situations and frameworks for understanding their mutability.


It is therefore proposed, within this committee, to formulate the legal content of a new and transversal social and collective utility of wastelands, whatever their nature and potential uses, in order to legally facilitate their reuse.



The Committee of Experts and Scientists


The Scientific Committee created in 2017 within LIFTI has not had the opportunity to meet. Aware that this committee was not only composed of scientists but of many professionals, invested in a personal capacity in the working groups and contributing their skills, today’s Board of Directors decided to rename it: Committee of Experts and Scientists.


The Committee of Experts and Scientists thus brings together high-level people who are committed to LIFTI’s activities on a long-term basis and who contribute to the reflection carried out by LIFTI in its fields of activity. As such, their application to join the committee is subject to deliberation by the Board of Directors.


In addition to active participation in working groups, committee members will be called upon as needed to contribute to a collective scientific watch in the field of land tenure and territorial strategies.



Capitalizing and sharing




After the success of the National Land and Territory Conference 2019, the objective of this cross-cutting mission is to keep up the momentum and highlight future LIFTI productions.

The conferences were characterized by real diversity:

– Speakers and participants, going beyond the sterile boundaries of the public and private spheres.

– of the territories presented, thus avoiding the temptation of centralism.

– themes carried, far from a logic in silos.


They have therefore aroused real interest from a wide range of actors from very different backgrounds, who are being asked to contribute again, if not through LIFTI working groups, then through more sporadic contributions or written submissions.


Thus, we propose that this line of work should be pursued throughout the year by means of intermediary seminars before and after the LIFTI working groups, and by means of more sporadic or written contributions.