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Landscaping and Local Development in France

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Waeraas, Gro
Conference: Reinventing the Commons, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bodoe, Norway
Conf. Date: May 24-28, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/349
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Europe
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
landscape change
land tenure and use
Abstract: "The kind of conflict which will be described in the following takes place almost each time EDF builds new high voltage power lines. High voltage power lines are actually considered by many as destroying the landscape and thus diminishing the well-being of the people living along the power line. Moreover, the loss of environmental quality which follows the implementation of the line may also threaten tourism, which in some cases is a main income for local authorities (there are 36,000 'communes' [municipalities, parishes] in France, their high number resulting in a very small size), as well as for individuals and local companies. "Hence, this conflict raises an interesting problem, which can be described as follows: the owners of a land, be it individuals, companies, farmers or local authorities, are, according to French law, not considered 'dispossessed' of their property by a power line crossing their land. Thus, up till recently, they were not consulted by EDF about the project, just informed after the final routing decision. "However, owners and local authorities claim that the presence of the power line leads to a depreciation of the land. That is why residents, ecological movements and local authorities now demand to participate in all phases of the project, in order to ensure that local interests and knowledge (especially about traditional use of the land) be taken into account. "Due to the threat to landscape quality, a 'new common' has thus appeared where private and public property prevailed before. The question is how to ensure an equitable and sustainable management, ensuring both landscape preservation and transport of electricity, at a reasonable cost. New procedures, including both political, economic and technical aspects, have been put into practice. The presentation will describe the creation and the (sometimes controversial) application of these new procedures."

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