Building « cross-border solidarity » for climate change adaptation: Estuarine areas and Bordeaux metropolis co-operative governance

11:15 Thursday 30 May


Room S2


Glenn Mainguy (France) 1,2; Charles De Godoy Leski (France) 1; Nicolas Rocle (France) 1; Denis Salles (France) 1

1 – IRSTEA; 2 – Centre Emile Durkheim UMR CNRS 5116


Considering their geographical location, their economic and residential attractiveness and history of their urban development, estuarine metropolitan areas are at the frontline of the effects of climate change. A gap between territories of environmental problems and established political-administrative perimeters characterizes the political construction of climate issues. This implies original integrative and transboundary governance that is able to grasp cognitive, territorial, sectoral, and institutional interdependencies. In the French context of territorial reforms, competencies are transferred and shared to local authorities. Does integrative and transboundary governance required to adapt to climate change constitute a guarantee of new locally political collaborations?


This paper aims to analyse how climate change adaptation policy, on estuarine Bordeaux metropolis (France) area, design and prescribe new ‘cross-border solidarity’ i.e. new urban-rural areas solidarity. The study is focused on the interdependencies between Bordeaux metropolis and its estuarine metropolitan margins areas. It’s based on a cross-analysis of the development and implementation of a range of policy instruments. In this topic, three types of public policies are analysed: (i) governance of flood and marine submersion risks; (ii) biodiversity governance; (iii) governance of water supply

Results and Conclusions

Sociological analysis shows how ‘obliged’ partners can be brought together, around issues whose sources and impacts extend beyond their political authority, in new and potentially conflicting collaborations. By seeking to include the ‘cross-border solidarity’ reference frames in territorial projects, policy instruments then contribute to new political collaboration between urban and rural authorities. Beyond the normative framework induced by these policy instruments, the study demonstrates the limits of a political collaboration driven by metropolitan interests. Finally, through this research, we are questioning the integrative dimension of policy instruments for adaptation to climate change.