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Presentation of the CRDT

The CRDT

The CRDT is a centre for interdisciplinary research and for interuniversity. Its mission is to produce, promote and disseminate knowledge and relevant territory information to each non-metropolitan region. To do so, CRDT’s research activities are listed in a coherent program. They participate in a group effort made to reduce the disparities between:

  • The regions;
  • The geographical territories (central and non-metropolitan);
  • Social groups requiring a thorough knowledge of specific issues and trends as they relate to the territories (to name a few).

This in-depth knowledge is ready to apply to the planning, decision-making processes, management and evaluation policies, programs and projects developed by the territories and brought forward by public institutions and associations.

The research projects conducted at the CRDT provide essential knowledge about the non-metropolitan territories that sometimes get less attention from other research centres.


History

The CRTD was created in 2003. The objective was to strengthen territorial development knowledge in Quebec. By obtaining the status of strategic groups from the Fonds de recherche Québécois – société et culture (FRQSC), CRDT formalized and strengthened the links that existed between researchers from the four initial areas of the CRDT (UQAC, UQAR, UQAT, UQO), and additional researchers from universities all over the world including in Quebec, in Canada and internationally. To recognize the increasing contribution of researchers located in the Quebec City area, a fifth group of members was added to the ÉNAP and the INRS UCS in 2011 and joining the four initial areas. The Centre’s membership’s growth and its constant renewal allows us keep our line of questioning fresh and to increase all parties’ expertise. Including in the challenges that we face that and that keeps our audience’s attention is the need to formalize the geographic territorial approach in a multidisciplinary perspective in such a way to be open to various topics, such as the models of exploitation of natural resources, innovation, public action and its instruments that are being considered by the territorial governance and the multiple parties (such as governmental organizations, businesses, municipalities and civil groups).


The Scientific Program

CRDT’s works include a research program structured in four areas:

  1. Developement and Sustainable management of Territories and Resources;
  2. Dynamic Economic, Production and Proximity;
  3. Public Policies and Territorial Governance;
  4. Mechanisms for Building and Sharing of Knowledge.


Area 1: Development and Sustainable Management of Territories and Resources

The research undertaken in this area is designed to better understand current reports from companies / nature / territories, their effects on the dynamics associated to sociospacial, their territories and how they work together in a framework to drive concrete actions. On the theoretical level, the crossing between the sustainable development approach and territorial development is successful. Of conceptual reflections that are advanced to clarify content of concepts occurring in the scientific literature and practices in the development and planning, such as the sustainable territorial development, ecotourism, the sustainable urban planning or the social acceptance. Among the issues studied, note that the agriculture’s recomposition as a mode of occupation of the Territory, is becoming more penetrated by a new logic coming from the growth in surveys and savings in the territories (short circuits, ecosystem services, landscapes, farm succession, etc.). In an applied perspective, researchers are interested in strategies and recent practices of management of resources and the planning and development of the territories, while questioning their potential and their limitations (such as Agenda 21, protected sites and landscapes).


Area 2: Dynamic Economic, Production and Proximity

In today’s context, the development strategies in Quebec and elsewhere in the world rely on devices to support innovation. In Quebec, these devices take the concrete form of different components that are related to territorial research and development as well as to their transfer to the private companies or collective, for the incubation of initiatives to the business planning, in the financing of projects, networking, to the tax relief, etc. arises then the central question in the synergy of these mechanisms by the implementation of relational systems. Do the territories promote the emergence of "systems of innovation" to encompass these mechanisms and components? The scientific literature provided on this topic contains several concepts (economies of proximity, regions learning, spillover effects, etc.) and methods of observation (networks, clusters, institutions, etc.). Their scope on the non-metropolitan territories remains to inform, in relation with their specific criteria. In these latter territories, especially in geographic areas in Quebec scattered and sparsely populated, the proximity does not play in the same way and innovation systems seems to be less oriented toward the creation of innovations and rather toward their implementation. The development of these strengths (territorial capital social or, skills or knowledge, sources of jobs) and natural resources allows businesses and organizations in these territories to increase their competitiveness to face the competition created by external markets. Therefore, it is key to better understand and determine:

  1. The process in favour of the constitution of the productive systems in local, regional and territorial governments as well as the establishment of technologic areas or production centres and hubs (for innovation, transfer, network, partnerships and proximity conventions);

  2. The forms of social regulation as well as the mechanisms (formal and informal) of coordination contributing to territorial development.


Area 3: Public Policies and Territorial Governance

In today’s context, the development strategies in Quebec and elsewhere in the world rely on devices to support innovation. In Quebec, these devices take the concrete form of different components that are related to territorial research and development as well as to their transfer to the private companies or collective, for the incubation of initiatives to the business planning, in the financing of projects, networking, to the tax relief, etc. arises then the central question in the synergy of these mechanisms by the implementation of relational systems. Do the territories promote the emergence of "systems of innovation" to encompass these mechanisms and components? The scientific literature provided on this topic contains several concepts (economies of proximity, regions learning, spillover effects, etc.) and methods of observation (networks, clusters, institutions, etc.). Their scope on the non-metropolitan territories remains to inform, in relation with their specific criteria. In these latter territories, especially in geographic areas in Quebec scattered and sparsely populated, the proximity does not play in the same way and innovation systems seems to be less oriented toward the creation of innovations and rather toward their implementation. The development of these strengths (territorial capital social or, skills or knowledge, sources of jobs) and natural resources allows businesses and organizations in these territories to increase their competitiveness to face the competition created by external markets. Therefore, it is key to better understand and determine:

  1. Public policy plants;

  2. Local and regional public policies;

  3. Coordination of actions and projects between the players in the territories concerned; 

  4. Integration of local and traditional knowledge in the mechanisms of decision-making within the territorial communities, practices and aboriginal communities. The territorial development is formed around mobilizations of skills and networks (formal and informal) of the individual players and the groups, seeking to promote the attractiveness, the development and the quality of lifestyle of their respective territory. For CRDT’s researchers, it is important to discover and understand how these socio-political dynamic work together, focusing especially on how each local players mobilize and coordinate knowledge required to arbitrate the different interests, how they resolve tensions and develop and implement their development projects.


Area 4: Mechanism for Building and Sharing the Knowledge

This area of the program brings together the findings from the work carried out within the other three areas. It is a matter of having a reflective look on these works, and therefore on the research of the CRDT as a whole), to better theorize the reflections and research results and in doing so to clarify the scope of various concepts, including the non-metropolitan territories.

This area of the program is a mix aiming to extend, to better explain, disseminate the contribution and the originality of the CRDT by providing reports to the territorial about territorial approaches and leverage best practices. This area will lead to reflections in three complementary tracks:

  1. To deepen the epistemology of the territory or the understanding of the territory settings at the beginning of the research;

  2. To produce the sociology of knowledge within the grouping (the conditions and the production and dissemination sites);

  3. To better codify in our reports for promoting a rapprochement with the world of practice and enter how these reports are shaping the knowledge produced. Significant efforts will also be made to reach a wide and diverse audience potentially interested by this knowledge and animate of the transfer of activities and mobilization of knowledge, facilitating their insertion in concrete problems experienced by the parties involved in the territorial development.

Partenaires

UQAR
UQO
UQAC
UQAT
INRS
ENAP

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Le CRDT remercie le FRQSC de sa contribution financière qui permet la poursuite de son mandat.



 

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