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“The conversion of wasteland: a challenge for French reindustrialization?”


There is much talk of innovation, big data, robotics and artificial intelligence with an increasingly clear convergence between services and industry, the most spectacular illustration of which is e-commerce, which is increasingly used in industrial processes.

However, in 15 years, the share of industry in French GDP has fallen by 20%, calling for profound changes in a French industry that must necessarily embrace the digital revolution and the energy transition to reinvent itself.

All these changes, which appear at first sight to be based on digital technology, data, and therefore on the intangible, are nevertheless increasingly based on physical and tangible realities: the consumption of resources and materials by sites that require more and more space. E-commerce centres, data centres, factories and renewable energy production units are the most emblematic examples.

In addition to these space requirements, there are more than 300,000 polluted sites in France, some of which are industrial wastelands, often located in the inner suburbs of urban areas and linked to many existing infrastructures.

In these conditions, should we not think about the changes in industry in terms of the fight against soil artificialisation, the conversion of materials or the recycling of wasteland and degraded land?

Especially since these projects for the conversion of brownfield sites are operations that create value for the territories, the French economy and the preservation of the environment.


Reclaiming industrial sites to turn them into competitiveness clusters serving the attractiveness of the territories and respect for the environment, these are the challenges raised by this breakfast debate organised by the company VALGO on 19 March 2019 at the Hôtel de l’Industrie in partnership with the Fabrique de l’Industrie and as part of the Semaine de l’Industrie.


To discover the full report of this morning’s exchange, click here

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