An expert assessment for territorial development
With an associative status, the urban planning agencies develop expert assessments regarding the various domains of urban planning and territorial development (planning, housing, mobility, economy, environment, real estate…).
A shared model of engineering
As multidisciplinary tools and partnership-based vision, the agencies function with the will to work together at the scale of a territory, in order to guide territorial public strategies and urban policies. Chaired by elected representatives, they are composed of multidisciplinary teams, developing a territorial expertise on the long run.
A tool for decision support
The agencies offer a technical support to local authorities, by making available valuable means of observation, assessment and guidance. They propose strategical and operational reflections, hence contribute to the decision-making process of elected authorities involved.
An original status
The urban planning agencies are legally defined in French law by the Article L132-6 of the Code of urban planning :
Towns, public institutes of inter-city cooperation and local authorities can create, with the state and the public institutes or with other institutes in charge of planning and territorial development, institutes of reflection, of studies and support of public policies called « urban planning agencies ». These agencies of partnership-based engineering have missions such as :
- monitoring urban evolutions and develop a territorial observation,
- helping with the definition of planning and development policies and with the production of urban planning documents that are linked to these policies, like the coherence territorial schemes and the inter-city local urban programs.
- Preparing the projects of urban areas, metropolitan and territorial, in the sense of an integrated approach and of an harmonization of public policies,
- Contributing to the diffusion of innovation, the process and tools of sustainable territorial development, landscape and urban quality,
- Guiding cross-border cooperations and decentralized cooperations related to urban strategies.
Urban planning agencies can have the form of an association or of a group of public interest (GIP). The latter are subject to the chapter II of the law n° 2011-525 of May 17th of 2011 of simplification and improvement of the quality of law. A commissioner of the Government is named in the group when the share of the participation of the state exceeds an amount which is defined by decree by the Council of State (Conseil d’Etat).