Multimodal platforms of transport and services The logistic landscapes in Region NordPas de Calais/France –
  • Fabrice Raffin
    Bio statement : Fabrice Raffin (Dr.) is a socio-anthropologist, MCF at the University of Picardie Jules Verne and Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3. He is director of research of S.E.A. Europe in Paris.
    Former scientific adviser for the french Minister for Culture and Heritage, he is specialised on the analysis of artistic practices and the city, urban planning and urban development.
    Since 2012, he is member of the ITTECOP multi-disciplinary research programme run by the French Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) in coordination with the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). His main works aim is to explore technical infrastructure issues (affecting river, rail and road transport, as well as regional interfaces such as train stations, ports and airports) with respect to landscapes in the French region of Nord-Pas-de Calais. This may include spatial and temporal dimensions, regional governance issues or ecological factors.
    Country : FR
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Substantial amounts of urban research aim to understand infracstructures and landscapes development via political decisions and planning, , real estate developers, inhabitants’ struggles and involvement, spectacular operations, heritage, problems, etc. But in fact, using a socio-anthropological methodology, we have decided to consider, some invisible facts linked to what we call logistics activities. More precisely, the hypothesis we will present is that the economics of goods, their transportation from the production area to consumers, and what we call logistics, is today the most important key player in building a city and urban landscape.

To say it another way: the action you do alone at your computer when you order a book or phone or any other goods online, is actually building a large part of a city today.

This way globalized trade are fully localized in built areas, from a very locally scale, interacting with the entire metropolis, up to scale world. Most pertinently for the present discussion it should be noted that these infrastructure are generally located on the outer layers of metropolitan areas. These spaces of the logistic and the « commodity » component of transportation are seldom analyzed by social sciences. Yet, they would shape our cities and especially contemporary metropolises, on a large scale, drastically. It is at least the initial hypothesis of our work on  the spaces of logistic which we have been carrying out  in Nord Pas de Calais from two years, precisely around the Delta 3  multimodal and  logistics Platform Delta 3 located in the urban community of Hénin-Carvin (CAHC) south of the metropolitan area of Lille.

The frame of our problematization shares the same paradoxical conclusion: although ‘huge and spectacular' the logistic spaces and those of transport, could go 'unnoticed' and “non-controversial”. Thus, for the geographical area of our research, the recent arrival of the warehouses of  100 000 m² of the Amazon company, which we also take  into account here, does of course give rise to an opportunistic media promotion in terms of economy and employment, but not in terms of spatial planning  and territorial disruption. Not far from there, 2.5 km, the Delta 3 multimodal platform extends to nearly 300 000 m² and has never aroused outraged advertising. This is only the warehouses, the global infrastructure make a total of more than 2 km².

Urban planning/Urban process ; Lanscapes integration ; Logistics infrastructures ; Globalized trade.