« BFC en transition »


Union nationale des acteurs du développement local (UNADEL)

In terms of regional planning and ecological transition, the State’s action in Burgundy-Franche-Comté is carried out through the DREAL : The Regional Directorates for the Environment, Planning and Housing (DREAL) are deconcentrated services of the French State, depending on the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion. Its mission is to « make sustainable development a daily reality » (DREAL’s motto). In 2019, the Burgundy - Franche-Comté region is launching the « BFC in Transition » project, a participatory action research project co-piloted by the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Dijon. It is a method of territorial intervention aimed at The co-production of knowledge between researchers and workshop participants and the operationalisation of the knowledge produced into concrete actions for the territories concerned. Since March 2020, the project is entering its phase 2.

To download : presentation-bfcentransition.pdf (1.1 MiB)

Backgrounds and objectives

Public action has a role to play in creating synergy between the actors and putting their knowledge into dialogue with a view to amplifying the socio-ecological transition through the articulation of scales of action and spin-offs.

The objective is to experiment a methodology on two territories (the Belfort-Montbéliard urban area with the entry of participative democracy and the Bertranges community of municipalities in the Nièvre region around the experimentation of a territory with zero long-term unemployment and social entry) to encourage and accelerate the socio-ecological transition and to think about the conditions for a possible spin-off. Starting from the premise that it is through inter-knowledge, the decompartmentalization of actors that we can, not articulate the social and ecological but co-construct projects that will be part of a new, transdisciplinary field that will allow to « break the boundaries » and make common. The objective is also to draw reflexive lessons at the regional level to enlighten the actors and accompany the transformation of public action. The experimentation is methodologically supported by the association InTerre’ActiV and the MSH of Dijon.

Three lines of questioning have been prioritised:


The project is based on a participatory action research approach. It is a method of territorial intervention aimed at the co-production of knowledge between researchers and workshop participants and the operationalisation of the knowledge produced into concrete actions for the territories concerned.

For each of the three research axes, a hybrid forum was organized with a view to cross-referencing the knowledge of several groups of actors: citizens, businesses, elected officials, public officials, associations and researchers. The aim of these hybrid forums is to create a territorial dynamic around the issues of socio-ecological transition, to make the initiatives of the territory and more generally of the region visible in order to encourage local action, to decompartmentalise and create synergies between the players in order to initiate or reactivate local partnership networking around a common culture of transition and to fertilise and spread transition initiatives in Burgundy Franche-Comté.

The 3 forums were held in 2019 (10 September VANDOCCOURT, 15 October PREMERY and 4 December DIJON), each preceded by several workshops for reflection, interviews and a survey.

The « BFC in Transition » project is coordinated by a strategic orientation committee composed of the stakeholders of the whole process: the Region, ADEME, the national research programme « Cit-in », CEREMA, DREAL, GRAINE, InTerre’ActiV, MSH of Dijon, Pirouette cacahuète, Plateau Débat Public de FNE BFC, URCPIE and other associations or local authorities who wish to integrate it during the project. Each meeting (forums and workshops) is organized by a specific multi-partner steering committee. The strategy steering committee has agreed to continue the project in 2020 in the two territories involved.

Funding and resources

The project is financed by the DREAL and the General Commissariat for Sustainable Development to the tune of 25,000 euros for 2019. In 2020, the project continues with a budget of 55,000 euros.

Results and impacts

The first year of the project made it possible to collectively define the social-ecological transition and its stakes, to promote citizen initiatives, associations and cooperative dynamics (15 fact sheets, 3 videos), to identify the conditions for its emergence (brakes and levers for mobilization, points of vigilance), the necessary skills and concrete lines of work were identified in each territory. A detailed assessment of the results, a summary of the popularisation and a methodological assessment were produced. A website was created to promote all the project results.

Obstacles and challenges

Beyond emergence, project leaders are faced with the problem of funding to ensure the sustainability of their initiatives, given that public policies and funding possibilities are very compartmentalised and at multiple scales (Municipality, Department, State, Region, Europe).

Lessons learned and perspectives 

Phase 2 of the BFC in Transition project will consist of continuing the qualification work in this emerging field of activity, through the following question: What are the conditions for consolidating and spreading the initiatives of associations and citizens of social ecological transition?

It will be based on three lines of work:

Through several « sites », a collective dynamic of transition will be tested through the construction of a shared governance (conditions of synergy between associative actors and citizens towards the influence of public authorities) and on the question of the brakes and levers to the social-ecological empowerment of the public in precarious situations, the research will be based on some examples of associative and citizen initiatives.


  • « Initiatives citoyennes et transition écologique : quels enjeux pour l’action publique ? », CGDD, Juin 2017

  • www.cooperationtransition-bfc.fr/

  • Journées des territoires 2019 « Agir sans subir : les territoires relèvent le défi écologique et social » les 25 et 26 novembre à Paris – Atelier « Évolution du développement social local ? »

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