Specialised research on Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability

To increase its visibility and influence, and respond more effectively to societal challenges, La Rochelle Université has embarked on a major transformation process by choosing to focus its research onSmart Urban Coastal Sustainability” (LUDI). 


Today, almost 60% of the world’s population lives less than 100 km from a coast. By definition, this particular zone is the first to be threatened by climate transition and rising sea levels. This situation calls for solutions to be devised in a wide range of disciplinary fields, with the aim of durably protecting life in anthropized areas, as well as supporting public policies with a view to bringing “science and society” closer together. This is why La Rochelle Université has chosen to focus its research on “Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability” (LUDI), to address the challenges of sustainable development in coastal areas. 

As an actor in the societal transitions needed to contribute to a sustainable and responsible world, the university wishes to put its expertise at the service of this ecological transition. 

This distinctive feature is built on an inclusive approach, bringing together all the institution’s research strengths around a common societal challenge. This focus aims to address these global scientific challenges from a variety of angles, using disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. 


Since September 2021, this policy is reflected in the organisation of the university, with the creation of the LUDI Institute, bringing together all the research units, the masters degrees (with the exception of masters of Law) and the doctoral school.

This process of specialisation has taken on an international dimension thanks to La Rochelle Universités leading role in the European university EU-CONEXUS, which brings together nine partner institutions in Europe to tackle this issue, all located in coastal areas. 

France 2030 logotype

As a winner of the PIA4 “Excellence in all its forms” programme, La Rochelle Université aims to attract new talent over the next few years by creating a European centre of excellence for smart urban coastal sustainability, supported by major programmes and chairs of excellence. Thanks to a new form of governance, shared with local and international socio-economic actors, new projects and tools should see the light of day. A decision-support system will provide support, analyses and impact simulations based on the latest scientific developments in the field of smart urban coastal sustainability and its network of observatories. 

As part of the ExcelLR project, the creation of a centre for the dissemination of scientific culture, the Science & Society CommOn Lab, will also support the development of the universitys projects. This centre, designed in partnership with the La Rochelle conurbation authority, will offer activities combining arts and sciences, teaching demonstrations and scientific experiments accessible throughout the region. 

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