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"Wild animals and city-dwellers: resident practices, mental images and health risks. The example of Greater Paris"
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris
LabEx DynamiTe - Laboratoire d Excellence « Dynamiques Territoriales et Spatiales »
Geography 
Full Description:

Research Proposal:


> Interest of the Research :


In France, many management and
development plans aim to include nature in urban environments.
Accordingly, the Île-de-France region and the Métropole du Grand Paris
(MGP, Greater Paris Metropolitan Area) are participating in the
establishment of such plans by producing local commitment documents,
which take the form of the creation and development of green spaces,
ecological corridors and green belts to promote biodiversity and
facilitate movement. Simultaneously, city dwellers themselves also wish
to bring more nature into urban areas.
Among wildlife, three species—whose
presence in Paris and the adjoining suburbs has been recorded—have
retained our attention: hedgehogs, beech martens and foxes. The
cohabitation of these animals and city dwellers comes with
environmental, cultural and health challenges for the various urban
territories making up the Parisian metropolitan area. Indeed, beyond
promoting biodiversity in cities, the presence of this wildlife is
sometimes viewed in conflicting ways and can be the source of conflicts
between humans and non-humans as well as among humans. In addition, the
challenges of sharing the territory also have health implications
because these mammals may be vectors for diseases that can be passed on
to people (zoonoses) and pets.


>Lines of Research:


The thesis aims to examine the multiple
social views associated with hedgehogs, beech martins and foxes in urban
areas and their implications for environment management, and explore
city dwellers’ habits and practices that could increase health risks and
trigger conflicts. This research will make it possible to identify and
characterize the system of stakeholders organized around the management
of medium-sized mammals in cities to reveal possible levers for action
to improve governance of biodiversity in cities.
It is organized around four lines of research. Line 1:
How are potential zones of contact between city dwellers and the three
species concerned distributed throughout the territory studied and where
are meeting points located? Line 2: What are the
characteristics of the current health risk in Paris and its inner
suburbs? What are the pathogen infestation rates for the different
species? Line 3: Do risky practices exist and what
parameters alter health risks? What are the perceptions and social views
associated with the presence of these animals in the Greater Paris
Metropolitan Area? What factors alter these perceptions and views? Line 4: How
do stakeholder’s practices and actions contribute to the presence,
elimination, spread or confinement of these three species in Paris and
its inner suburbs?


Finally, in order to better grasp the
urban contexts that are conducive to human-animal cohabitation,
governance of this wildlife shall be placed into perspective through a
comparison with other European cities (London, Zurich, Munich or
Luxembourg).



Posted on: 29 March 2016Deadline to apply: 04 May 2016Start Date: 01 September 2016 Duration: 36 months
The Fund category is Mixed Funding and the salary is 15-20k€ annual gross
Doctoral School is Geography of Paris - spaces, societies, planning in the Ile-de-France Region.

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