Our teams

Urban Development, Spatial Planning and Territories

The team in charge of the IAU’s Urban Development, Spatial Planning and Territories department is made up of urban architects, geographers, landscape architects and cartographer-geomaticians (GIS specialists). On behalf of the IAU, they bring to bear the power of a spatial approach to territories and the leverage of projects on every scale, from urban project definition to national territorial planning. The team members are highly experienced in urban planning studies, creative workshops, international exchanges and support for project-driven initiatives on behalf of various public bodies in France and abroad. Among the recent jobs done are the following: with the Regional Institute for the Developement of Sport (IRDS), search for suitable sites for the candidature of Paris for hosting the 2024 Olympic Games ; Est-Ensemble urban project ; various land-use studies in the Paris Region ; the Urban Planning & Transport Charter of metro line 11 ; cartographic atlases of Greater Orly, the CAVB, ACTEP and the Greater Paris Metropolis ; the listing as UNESCO World Heritage Sites of “the hillsides, houses and cellars of the Champagne region”; the master plans for Greater Casablanca and Greater Hanoi; and a guide for safeguarding Libya’s built heritage.


The Economics department comprises a team whose members have the skills that make it possible to understand and make sense of the overall situation, dynamics and outlook of a regional economy. At the crossroads of networks of experts and of assignments in operational support for public and private sector players, the Economics department is also recognised for its ability, with complete neutrality, to contribute new ideas to the reflections and strategies on development and attractiveness. Finally, the Economics department’s detailed knowledge of the geography of the Paris Region’s economy adds much appreciated value to the decision-making support given to businesses and property investors. It is regularly active in France and abroad in collaboration with private companies. Its areas of expertise include: support for the economic component of large-scale projects; sectoral analysis and innovation; mapping and computer graphics; territorial competitiveness; local development; commercial property; territorial marketing; modelling; economic forecasting; territorial statistics; economic development and planning strategy; and the monitoring of economic indicators.


The Environment department is made up of the Urban and Rural Environment department, the Regional Biodiversity Agency (former Natureparif), the Energy and Climate department (former ARENE) and the Waste Studies department (former ORDIF). It is made up of a team whose skills are very broad and cover numerous areas.
Its approaches are differentiated depending on the types of areas (more or less dense urban, suburban or rural) and of scales (from interregional or metropolitan functional areas to urban blocks, with a preference for large multi-municipal territories). Thus, the department conducts studies of all areas on whatever scale.
The development of environmental skills within an Urban Planning and Development institute makes people highly used to working collaboratively and to paying particular attention to linkages and interfaces, featuring systemic effects, reconciliation with nature, resilience, sustainability, etc.
The team also benefits from its great experience in spatialisation thanks to GIS tools, i.e. proven know-how in converting and matching environmental phenomena thanks to geospatial databases, data mapping and indicators.


The Governance Mission’s aim is to interpret the workings of the institutional systems of players, notably against the background of the metropolisation of the French capital-region (known as l’Île-de-France or simply the Paris Region). Its team is made up of experts in public institution law, analysis of public policies, the sociology of public action, public finances and local taxation. On behalf of the Paris Region, this department analyses changes in territorial governance. It supports the efforts of local government authorities to engage in dialogue and to think about the changes in their collaborative schemes. This ensures that these institutional issues are well taken into account by the IAU’s thematic departments engaged in territorial assignments. The department also helps to develop the ability to compare the governance systems of metropolitan areas across Europe and beyond. It can share its methods with all the towns, cities, metropolitan areas and regions that have embarked on a process of modernising their territorial governance.

Mobility and Transport

The Mobility and Transport department covers all topics relating to the movement of people and goods. With its team of engineers, architects, urban planners, statisticians and geomaticians (GIS specialists), it provides innovative analyses and proposals, quantitative studies of mobility, modelling, economic research and a powerful geographic information system for developing various tools and methodologies designed to analyse road traffic, new modes of mobility, governance issues, intelligent transport systems (ITS), transport-oriented development (TOD) and urban logistics. Their work observing other European and global metropolitan areas is a continual source of lessons that lead to new proposals for practices and measures to be considered for adoption. Its regular contributions to territorial strategy studies as part of multidisciplinary teams also allow it to act as a force for bringing proposals forward for complex urban planning processes. For example, it has been involved in numerous projects in the Paris Region and internationally, such as the Paris Region’s urban development and mobility master plans (SDRIF, PDUIF), the regional master plans of Hanoi and Casablanca, Ethiopia’s national plan, etc. 

Information Systems

The Information Systems Department (ISD) provides professional resources and cross-functional support for a broad range of services including: IT development, infrastructure, geomatics, data-processing and promotion of research work. It sets up and implements the information systems for conducting and managing the IAU’s various activities, playing a leading role in the technical coordination of geomatics, mapping and data visualisation. It draws up specifications, recommends the appropriate technical resources, provides the required training and ensures that the equipment is fit for purpose in line with the requirements laid down by the IT master plan. It acts as a force for proposals in terms of IAU representation by taking actions in favour of creativity that find expression in the IAU’s unique style of studies with a clearly identified IAU signature, a coherent overall vision for sustainable print/web communication. The ISD has originated numerous innovative projects implemented with the support and collaboration of all the IAU’s departments. 


The Planning Mission comprises a multidisciplinary team whose main task is to help urban planning stakeholders implement the Paris Region’s master plan (SDRIF) by providing educational material (digital tools, dedicated publications, etc.), legal advice and the means of monitoring-assessing the progress made in implementing the SDRIF. Its experience in regional planning matters relating to methodology and strategic support gives it skills across many subjects in the planning field and in the mastery of institutional processes. The division supports the coordination of the various planning exercises conducted by the IAU for the Paris Region. Moreover, being in charge of providing legal expertise, it has developed a monitoring and information instrument on public policies. Its know-how is at the disposal of institutions in France and abroad to help them draw up their planning documents or reform their urban planning and its governance.

Housing and Social Affairs

The Housing and Social Affairs department team is made up of demographers, sociologists, geographers, urban planners, cartographers and geomaticians who devote their skills to a variety of topics: the environment and housing; population and income levels; urban policy; education including higher education; healthcare; tourism; culture and heritage. The department deals with forecasting and accessibility issues to meet the needs of public policies at territorial or regional levels in France and abroad. We use data bases and the results of surveys to produce various analyses on the housing stock, social trends, urban amenities and the modelling of tools to help decision-making. Here are some examples of our recent assignments: assistance to the contracting authority with the drafting of the regional housing and accommodation plan and with the creation of an Ad’AP for Paris Region high schools; the production of expert reports on the impact of reduced ANRU VAT rates on housing construction and the redistribution of inequalities; and the introduction of an instrument for measuring the level of equipment available to local government authorities. 

Prevention and Security

The security of people and goods is a widespread concern today and has become a priority for the public authorities. It is a particularly important challenge for the capital region in terms of its quality of life and territorial attractiveness, a structuring factor of development policies.
On the strength of the expertise gained after 15 years of existence, the IAU’s Prevention and Security Mission (PSM) is dedicated to these issues. With its multidisciplinary team (an urbanist, a statistician, a sociologist), it mobilises its know-how to produce studies, data, publications and training modules on questions relating to security and the prevention of delinquency. By helping to increase knowledge and understanding of these questions, it is an instrument for improved decision-making and positions itself as an observatory, resource centre and delivery platform. Its work supports the actions of the region’s elected representatives and local government departments, as well as the activities of all the stakeholders facing the challenges of risk prevention and security enhancement (municipalities, combined authorities, transport providers, social landlords, the voluntary sector, citizens, etc.).


The Health department or -the Regional Healthcare Observatory/ORS- is a totally independent scientific body. It   does a lot of work on describing the health (as broadly defined by the WHO) of the Paris Region’s inhabitants. The aim is to analyse the overall state of health of the Paris Region’s population and to do so by comparing it with other French regions (to bring out the Paris Region’s specificities) and with its sub-regions (to reveal internal territorial inequalities). Furthermore, the aim is to understand these results by distinguishing between individual determinants (personal behaviour patterns) and collective factors (socio-economic, environmental in the broad sense – physical, noise, pollution – working conditions, housing, the impact of supply, spatial planning, population-based approaches, etc.) to inform regional public policies in the health, social and medical fields.


The Sport Development department or -Regional Institute for the Development of Sport (IRDS)-, comprises a multidisciplinary team with a statistician, a cartographer-geomatician, an urban planning economist, and a geographer. Its objective is to develop a permanent observatory of sport in the Paris Region. The IRDS is currently dealing with the French bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games with the IAU teams supporting the Paris Regional Council and the national bid committee. It also produces local studies (territorial diagnoses) and regional surveys. Not only is it a genuine decision-making aid for public policies, but it is also a resource centre at the disposal of the bodies and institutions involved in the functioning and development of physical and sports activities. 


The Communications department participates in the formulation of the IAU’s communication strategy and implements it. With its multidisciplinary team, it intervenes at every stage in the chain of production of studies and publications: graphics, maps, editing, printing and copying. It also ensures the dissemination and promotion of the IAU’s expertise via the digital channels of communication (website, newsletter, social networks) with the general and specialist press, the organising of events and the sale of publications.
To uphold the brand image of the IAU foundation and its experts, it produces institutional communication material and ensures the graphic and editorial coherence of everything printed by the IAU and displayed on its website.