The evolution of landscapes in france from yesterday to 2050: what place for energy?

September 2022

Agence pour l’Environnement et la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME)

The Landscape-Energy Imagier, produced by the Landscape and Energy Chair of the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage with the support of ADEME, proposes to make energy, its figures and its challenges more concrete by putting them into landscape through commented illustrations. In this respect, it is aimed at professionals, private or public decision-makers, teachers and anyone interested in these changes in society.

To download : cp-ademe_ensp.pdf (220 KiB), imagier_paysage_energie.pdf (16 MiB)

Using a historical approach, the evolution of landscapes in relation to energy over the last 200 years is presented, as well as the contemporary challenges of the energy and ecological transition, and the new landscapes that could emerge in the next 30 years, depending on the choices made.

There is a close link between landscape and energy. The production, storage and transport of energy have contributed to the evolution and transformation of landscapes for thousands of years. They mark the history of our territories and forge their identities: aqueducts, canals, mills, dams, forest management, slag heaps, refineries, petrol stations, hydroelectric, nuclear, oil, coal and gas power stations, high-voltage lines, biofuels, solar and photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, etc.

The picture book enables everyone to understand the landscape approach and to visually grasp the effects on landscapes, by recalling past developments since the industrial revolution and by drawing possible futures based on the four low-carbon scenarios proposed by ADEME in its Transition(s)2050 exercise. It shows that the landscape is not just a picture or a fixed setting, but is the consequence of our lifestyles and is the result of a common project around which it is essential to strengthen the dialogue.

« Transition does not have to be a punishing, constraining, demanding and painful path of sacrifice. Post-oil landscapes are certainly very different from those inherited from the Thirty Glorious Years, but, provided we accompany their transformation and imagine them creatively, they can offer a framework and a way of life that are more than acceptable: they are desirable. Bertrand Folléa, Director of the Landscape and Energy Chair, École nationale supérieure de paysage

« As illustrated by ADEME’s « Transition(s) 2050 » and RTE’s « Energy Futures » forecasts, the fight against climate change and the achievement of carbon neutrality presuppose major changes in our economy as a whole and in our consumption patterns. ADEME’s work has already shown that the four Transition(s)2050 scenarios have a very different impact on the use of raw materials, soil, biomass and water resources. This work by the ENSP highlights their impact on landscapes in relation to changes in our lifestyles: an essential step to be able to project into the future and facilitate the appropriation of the ecological transition. David Marchal, Deputy Executive Director of Expertise and Programmes - ADEME

In-depth consultation for the implementation of renewable energies (RE) in the territories

Setting up a wind or solar farm should not be a technical act alone, but should be considered within the framework of a territorial project, based on the landscape approach, among other things. In-depth consultation is the key to avoiding blockages, relying on each institutional player and citizen who has their own knowledge of the landscape.

Within the framework of actions on landscapes and territorial consultation, ADEME :

To train professionals capable, through the landscape project, to put the soil, the living, the resources and, more generally, the use of spaces at the heart of the debate and of the collective action

This is the ambition of the École nationale supérieure de paysage in the face of the unprecedented transitions that our societies and territories are facing.

The landscape is indeed alive. It is the result of an accumulation of human or natural interventions over time. It is constantly changing and as citizens we are all actors of this transformation. At the time of the Anthropocene, the responsibility we share is immense. The landscape reflects the care given to the environment and to those around us. It is also the imprint of the alterations and degradations that we cause around us, and it reveals our mistakes. The landscape is the common and shared relationship we have with our environment. It is a common good.

The École nationale supérieure de paysage is a school of « common good » committed to the issues of producing differently, consuming differently, moving differently, reducing the environmental footprint … in order to pass on to future generations a liveable world.

To achieve this, the École nationale supérieure de paysage :


To go further

Imagier Paysage-énergie (Éditions École nationale supérieure de paysage, septembre 2022, ISBN : 978- 2-490857-15-9). Paper version - please contact :