Scope and consequences of the “ZAN” objective

06 November 2023
Fahima GASMI

The Zero Net Artificialization objective, hereinafter “ZAN”, is defined in Action 10 of the biodiversity plan unveiled by the government on July 4, 2018 and was consecrated by the Citizens’ Climate Convention in 2020, which notably led to the enactment of Law n°2021-1104 of August 22, 2021 on combating climate disruption and strengthening resilience to its effects.

The Climate and Resilience Act sets a target of zero net artificial land use by 2050, with an initial intermediate target of halving the rate of space consumption over the next 10 years (2021 – 2031).

The aim is to act at the local level to reduce the progressive artificialization of land, while taking into account the local context, demographic and economic dynamics, and the need to revitalise or open up areas. This is a difficult exercise, since it involves reconciling the objectives of various public policies, including housing policy, with those of ZAN. The legislative and regulatory implementation of the ZAN objective is underway, and has already given rise to opposition, notably from mayors, given the urban planning constraints weighing on local authorities, thus limiting urbanisation policies, and consequently real estate projects.