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Risks and spatial planning

Controlling natural risks and environmental impacts in order to increase the resilience of regions

Introduction d'entête
Taking natural and anthropogenic risks into account is essential for the harmonious development of regions. BRGM applies an integrated approach to forecasting and managing risks that affect the surface and subsurface, thereby helping to increase the resilience of regions and promote more sustainable development.

Contaminated backfill and vegetation substrate in a former steel works. The colour of the cross-section is due to the presence of ferric ferrocyanide or Prussian blue, a by-product of coke-making (France, 2005). © BRGM - D. Hubé


Risk management and spatial planning involve diverse, interlinked factors. To address these complex issues, BRGM adopts a cross-cutting approach, drawing on geoscience along with other environmental and social research disciplines to improve understanding of the phenomena at work and their impacts. Its interventions cover a range of time scales and geographical areas, and span the entire risk chain from prevention to preparedness, warning to crisis management, including recovery, adaptation, remediation and resilience, whether the risks are natural or anthropogenic.

When dealing with natural hazards affecting the ground (gravity-related ground instability, shrinkage and swelling, erosion), subsurface (earthquakes, collapse) or coastline (submersion, erosion), BRGM uses a systemic approach to implement predictive tools, warning systems and effective mitigation techniques.

It also relies on innovation in managing former mining or industrial sites and restoring contaminated wasteland. It aims to develop remediation technologies and tools for forecasting how these sites will evolve, and examines ways to better manage excavated earth and polluted sediments.


Managing mine facilities after they have ceased operation remains the core activity of BRGM’s Mine Safety and Risk Prevention Department (DPSM). The DPSM is a pioneer in this field, as demonstrated by the flagship project in the Lorraine coal basin described below, which typifies BRGM’s expertise in post-mining safety. Safety engineering, decontamination and improving soil quality are also highlighted here, along with renewed skills and a special communication effort embodied by a new website.

Chiffre clé
Description du chiffre clé

Climate events around the world are estimated to have cost 140 billion dollars.