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[Publication] Towards a Sustainable, Resilient, and Inclusive Digital Environment

Because it is urgent to act for responsible digital technology in the service of territorial transformation, Sustainable City by France and Banque des Territoires have published a report called “Towards a Sustainable, Resilient, Inclusive, and Creative Digital Environment”. 

This document is the outcome of the discussions carried out by the working group of SCbF, which brought together representatives from the government, local authorities, businesses, and experts. It is an operational deliverable, which aims to provide professionals with recommendations, tools, and methods for responsible digital practices that contribute to the ecological and social transformation of territories. 

In short

Digital technology is now everywhere. It has changed the way we consume, work, get informed, and even receive healthcare. It has become the cornerstone of our daily lives, an extension of ourselves. Ubiquitous in the functioning of infrastructure, it shapes society as a whole. The acceleration of almost instantaneous flows, the dematerialization and simplification of processes, and the compilation of an infinite amount of data made more accessible – some see it as a revolution. But what is the environmental and social impact of digital technology? 

On one hand, its capabilities make it a powerful tool for optimizing urban services. It allows us to understand the interactions of multiple factors in a resilience approach: human activities, climate, biogeochemical cycles, and more. When serving the public interest, it can prove invaluable for information and engagement of the widest possible audience. Digital technology is even a practical tool for the circular economy and sharing, such as resale platforms promoting reuse and car-sharing platforms. 

On the other hand, its unlimited deployment and usage eventually raise questions. Because from the manufacturing of its devices to data exchanges, digital technology contributes to pollution. The CO₂ emissions it generates weigh heavily on our carbon footprint, and its various impacts on health are increasingly well-documented. As a result, in the face of the environmental urgency and the necessary shift in our development models, as with many other technological advances before, the question of the purpose and “right usefulness of digital technology” arises. 

It is not about renunciation but rather about discernment. Just because something is technically possible does not mean it must be done absolutely, and in terms of ecological transformation, “avoidance” is often much more effective than “greening.” Resource consumption, infrastructure construction, equipment, and usage – these are all areas to be collectively explored to determine what is truly necessary and sustainable. 

Sustainable City by France would like to thank all the participants of the working group, the Chronos / Auxilia consultancy for their expertise, as well as the co-pilots Bouygues Construction, Suez, and FNAU. 

Check out what Camille Waintrop-Boyon (Work-coordination and assessment officer at SCbF) has to say about the topic, in an interview conducted by AEF Info : 

It is primarily about limiting the negative impacts of digital technology, addressing climate and environmental challenges, but also protecting the territory from potential vulnerabilities related to digital technology. We recommend conducting an assessment of the environmental impact of digital technology beyond the 'sole' carbon impact, questioning the needs and providing suitable digital solutions, and limiting the purchase of new equipment... Other recommendations view digital technology as a tool for transformation: using this leverage to promote social inclusion and identify territorial vulnerabilities...

Camille Waintrop-Boyon, Sustainable City by France

Further information

How can public health and environmental issues be systematically included in the heart of the territorial strategy and the decisions made in defining projects? How can health imperatives be integrated into planning, design, and management for sustainable, resilient, and resident-friendly urbanism? 

This document aims to answer these questions by presenting several ways to achieve sustainable urbanism, which is a priority for territories and serves as a tool for improving urban health. 

About Solène

Mission Officer, Working Group, and Projects. Student at the Urban School of Sciences Po Paris, focusing on the ecological transition of cities.

About Quentin

Motivated by climate issues and planetary boundaries, Quentin decided to study land use planning at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. His experience in associative field at the Fresque du Climat, helped him to better understand the stakes of the ecological bifurcation. Between his native Haute-Savoie and his home town Rennes, where he gained expertise in mobility and sustainable agriculture, he is now based in Paris to deploy the Sustainable City by France’s territorial workshops throughout the country.

About Alice

After five years’ study at Sciences Po Lyon, with a specialization in territorial transitions, Alice joined Sustainable City by France (France Villes et territoires Durables). She actively contributes to the deployment of the association’s territorial workshops and working groups.
See her LinkedIn profile 

Currently studying as a second-year Master’s student in International Relations at University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Tara holds a Bachelor’s degree from INALCO, with a double-major in Hindi language, and International relations / Environmental studies. Her work with us is in line with her former experiences at UNESCO and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, thus deepening her professional expertise in the field of environmental diplomacy and international cooperation for sustainable development.

See her LinkedIn profile


She holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in International Relations and Action Abroad at the same university. She approaches the problems of sustainable cities and territories through these different perspectives and her international experiences.

About Isabelana

Isabelana is a Mexican journalist who holds a Master’s degree in Digital Communication and Data Analysis from the Sorbonne University. She previously worked in communication and press relations in the cultural sector in France and Mexico. Today, she is interested in ecological actions and solutions to preserve the environment and the biodiversity.

About Camille

camille photo
With a background in social sciences, art history and architecture, Camille has worked in communication within the VINCI group: from major international projects to La Fabrique de la Cité, a think tank dedicated to urban foresight.

About Alexandra

A geographer by training (Saint Petersburg State University), she started as a geographer and economist at the Academy of Agricultural Economics (Russia), before pursuing her career in France as an administrative and accounting assistant (Air Liquide, Association TGV Provence Côte d’Azur, COFHUAT, Groupe Hervé)

About Marion

Trained in international and European affairs between England and France as part of a double degree at Sciences-Po Lille / University of Kent, Marion started her career in advocacy and institutional relations of non-governmental organisations, in the fair trade sector (Max Havelaar France label). Her experiences are also linked to territories, with a passage in decentralised cooperation at the level of a departmental council.

About Sébastien

Before joining the SCbF team, he held several positions in local government management. From elected official and deputy mayor of his native city Besançon, in charge of university relations and international cooperation, to Director of Economic Development of the City of Pantin, to Chief of staff in Montreuil – where he notably piloted the in-depth redesign of the urban project towards more ecology and sustainable development – he continued his career as Senior Resilience Officer of the City of Paris.
He promotes a holistic and systemic vision of sustainable development and brings his expertise in territorial resilience, ecological and social transition.