The CAUE: an atypical French entity at the crossroads where all landscaping trades meet

The CAUE can provide useful advice for all landscape professionals. Discover this unique french organization!


Specifically French, the Architectural, Town Planning and Environmental Council (Conseil d'Architecture, d'Urbanisme et de l'Environnement — CAUE) is an organization which plays a fundamental role, inter alia, in eco-city planning (see its benefits!) and landscaping. As Paysalia partners, the Rhône Metropole CAUE and the regional Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes URCAUE will stage several conferences for landscaping professionals. Check out the role of this Council and its close links with landscaping and ecological urbanism!

The CAUE, serving the public in general

The French law on architecture promulgated on January 3, 1977 brought into existence the Architectural, Town Planning and Environmental Councils in almost all French departments. Some of them are grouped together in regional unions, like the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes URCAUE.

These private law organizations exist to promote and develop the quality of architecture, town planning and environmental protection in French departments (for the CAUEs) and regions (for the URCAUEs). CAUE missions handle information, consultancy, awareness and training but not execution. Everyone involved in rural and urban area management can ask the CAUE to which it is attached for advice, free of charge. Examples of what CAUEs can provide:

  • Consultancy and training of elected officials, public and private owners and professionals.
  • Assistance and advice for any person or public authority with a construction, extension, restoration, creation or landscaping projects.
  • Talks to schools.
  • The organization of exhibitions, debates, technical visits, etc.

To carry out these missions of public interest, the CAUE calls on 1,300 professionals, including architects, town planner consultants and landscape designers as well as advisers in environmentally friendly energy, documentalists, sociologists, etc. The wide range of skills and the public concerned (public authorities, private individuals, professionals, farmers, architects…) make the CAUE a reference organization for counseling on ecological urbanism and landscaping projects!

Professionals evoke their relationships with the CAUEs:


CAUE, eco-city planning and landscaping: a close link to use to the full!

Since the French law promulgated in 2016 for the protection of biodiversity, nature and landscapes, the CAUE has added another area of expertise of interest to professional landscapers: “It provides people with construction projects with information, orientations and advice concerning the landscaping challenges of the urban and rural sites concerned and ensures the architectural quality of buildings” (article 173).

Missions for which the CAUEs are qualified to advise include:

  • the preparation of gardens and green space design projects;
  • differentiated green space management;
  • the development of vegetable or building heritages;
  • the formulation of a landscape protection policy;
  • the introduction of landscape analysis and management tools;
  • ecological urbanism/environmentally friendly buildings.

The local presence of each CAUE makes it possible to ensure that every landscaping project reflects local history and geography, supporting the sustainable development of each department and region. The transversality of the landscaping and the CAUE’s eclectic expertise is a great help to landscaping and sustainable town planning professionals!

Read also: Anticipating pitfalls when designing green spaces

Check out these examples of innovative CAUE initiatives!

Visit circuits

The Rhône Metropole CAUE proposes 12 visit circuits for everyone looking to discover Lyon Metropole’s town planning and landscapes on guided walks. Download them to explore Lyon from a new angle during your visit to the Paysalia show!

The CAUE Observatory 

This national database lists a selection of architectural, urban planning and landscaping projects chosen for their quality and innovation. An ideal way to discover new landscape design ideas!

4 mad eco-city planning projects you should know about


Prepared by the Ardèche CAUE, these training cycles assist local elected officials and technicians with questions related to the development of town planning projects. The very varied sets of themes address a range of topics including environmentally friendly districts and land control as well as the construction of a town planning document.

Discover the expertise of the CAUE at Paysalia!

Paysalia visitors and exhibitors can attend two conferences in the Village Square:

  • "Landscaping for a territorial project with the presentation of the territorial guide “Le Lyonnais monts et coteaux” (Éditions CAUE Rhône Métropole)". You will hear from the elected officials involved in the approach, accompanied by the CAUE Rhône Metropole on December 3 at 2.00pm.
  • “Nature, parks and gardens: a new way to design and live cities” presented by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes URCAUE on December 5 at 11.00am.

See all our conference on our web site.

The Architectural, Town planning and Environment Council is a meaningful counselor for professionals with a new landscaping or ecological urbanism planning project. You should also see our ultimate guide on developing collective green spaces!

© Photo credit: Sergey Nivens /


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