The “Provençal” Coalfield
A crucible for the research
The Observatories “Men and Environments” (called in French OHM) are intended to encourage the interdisciplinary researches on a given territory, marked by a major event which has a very important environmental, economical and social impact. The observatory dedicated to the coalfield of Provence was the first created by the CNRS in 2007.
The area observed by this OHM is the former Gardanne coalfield, which covers 17 towns of about 100,000 inhabitants, and whose exploitation was definitively stopped in 2003.
In this film, Pierre Batteau, the director of the OHM, describes this territory in a full phase of transition and talks about the studies carried out there. Located between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, this region is confronted to many problems: the management of the mining heritage, the economical reconversion, the urbanization dynamics, the agriculture maintaining, the natural environment preservation etc. To study and analyze these issues involved researchers from all scientifical disciplines.