Specialised research on Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability

In order to strengthen its visibility and influence and better respond to societal challenges, La Rochelle Université has embarked on a major transformation process by choosing to specialise its research on "Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability" (LUDI in french).


Today, nearly 60% of the world’s population lives within 100 km of the coastline. In essence, this particular area is the first to be threatened by the climate transition and the rise of the oceans. This situation requires solutions to be devised in a number of disciplinary fields aimed at sustainably protecting life in man-made areas, but also to accompany public policies in a logic of bringing “science and society” closer together. This is why La Rochelle Université has chosen to specialise its research on “Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability” (LUDI in french), i.e. the challenges of sustainable development in coastal areas.

As a player in the necessary societal transitions to contribute to a sustainable and responsible world, the University wishes to put its expertise at the service of this ecological transition.

This distinctive signature is based on an inclusive approach, bringing together all of the institution’s research strengths around a common societal challenge. This specialisation thus aims to address these global scientific issues from different angles with disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches.


Since September 2021, this policy has been reflected in the organisation of the University, with the creation of the LUDI Institute, which brings together all the research units, the masters degrees (with the exception of those of the Faculty of Law) and the doctoral school.

This specialisation process has taken on an international dimension thanks to the leadership of La Rochelle Université in the European university EU-CONEXUS, which brings together 9 partner institutions in Europe around this issue, all located in coastal areas.

Experimenting with new training models

La Rochelle Université is a winner of the PIA4 “Excellence in all its forms” programme and aims to attract new talent in the coming years by creating a European centre of excellence in intelligent sustainable urban coastlines based on major programmes with chairs of excellence. New projects and tools should be developed through a revisited and shared governance with local and international socio-economic actors. A decision support system will provide support, analysis and impact simulations based on the latest scientific developments in the field of sustainable and intelligent urban coastlines and fed by its network of observatories.

The creation of a centre for the dissemination of scientific culture, the “Science & Society Comm’On Lab”, foreseen in the ExcelLR project, will also support the development of the University’s projects. It will be a centre for the dissemination of scientific culture, designed in partnership with the La Rochelle agglomeration community, and will offer activities that combine the arts and sciences, educational demonstrators, and scientific experiments that can be seen throughout the New France region.

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