Courriel Impression

From the cloud to the ground: Economic and energy dimensions of the smart city though data storage centers 1995-2015 - EAVT

Project Leader : École d'architecture de la ville& des territoires à Marne-la-Vallée (ÉAVT)


Faced with the massive growth in data exchanges and storage needs, the spatial and energy impact of data centers will be increasingly structuring for territories. Their diversity of uses, actors, sizes and locations makes it difficult to read their dynamics and spatial effects.

This report therefore aims to provide an image of the data center landscape in Ile-de-France and in three territories of the United States, each representing different spatial and energy situations (dense city, peripheral space, rural). As a potential factor in the imbalance of local energy systems, objects whose urban accumulation and rural dispersion raise questions, data centers are the subject of an in-depth analysis to better understand the new digital territories under construction, the energy solidarity to be built and the alliances of actors to be set up.

A focus is also placed on alternative and citizen-based digital infrastructures, which are developing in Africa, South America, as well as in poorly covered territories in Europe and the United States. Dedicated to Internet access and, increasingly, hosting and cloud services, they can provide a distributed and peer-to-peer response, whose ecological impact may ultimately be more limited than large-scale centralised infrastructures because they are tailored to local needs, but also more resilient because they are less technically centralised and less spatially concentrated. They are therefore an option to be considered, supported and also better evaluated, in order to reduce the spatial and energy impacts of data centers.

The report also proposes forward-looking visions that combine underlying trends and weak signals to imagine the digital worlds of tomorrow, three of which are described: "Growth and digital ultra-centralization"; "Stabilization of the Digital Technical System and infrastructural diversity: quest for difficult resilience"; and "Digital ultra-decentralization: the end of data centers". ». Finally, recommendations are proposed around 3 axes: actors and governance; urban planning and environment; energy. Suggestions for further investigation and studies are also presented.


Synthèse Rapport du rapport : Projet ENERNUM  (ADEME) -  L'impact spatial et énergétique des data centers sur les territoires 


Rapport du projet ENERNUM  (ADEME) -  L'impact spatial et énergétique des data centers sur les territoires 

2-websiteArticle publié dans la Revue du Crieur n°10  Revue du crieur 10