Amenagement du Territoire: Territorial Development
It can be considered neither as a science nor as a technique, or as an art, but as a voluntary intervention or as the territorial aspect of planning. Therefore, it is a praxis (a set of actions aiming to the same objective) and a practice. It is fed less with theoretical rules or savoir faire than with empiricism. Therefore, it needs cooperation of specialists of various scientific fields.
Territorial development has to face several conflicts between objectives: economic development versus territorial equality, efficiency versus equity, liberalism versus planning, development versus environment, and centralization versus decentralization.
The first experiments took place in Netherlands (since centuries), and in Soviet Union, Britain, and Italy (between the two world wars). After World War II, the most active countries for territorial development have been Soviet Union, Netherlands, Britain, and France. Few developing countries (e.g., Lebanon or Morocco) have tried to define a territorial development policy, but priority to economic development makes its implementation difficult.
It is not clear what can be the English equivalent of the French Amenagement du territoire or of the German Raumordnung.Many expressions are used: regional development, territorial development, and town and country planning. The last expression has been chosen for the ministry created in Britain after World War II. Regional development may be considered as limited to the regional scale, while territorial development concerns various spatial scales.