contact: pierre.frankhauser@univ-fcomte.fr


ThéMA, Université de Franche-Comté,  32 rue Mégevand, F-25203 Besançon CEDEX, France


Phone: +33-(0)381665421 

associated member of the research laboratory LVMT

6-8 Avenue Blaise Pascal
Champs sur Marne
F-77455 Marne la Vallée





d.o.b. 5 October 1949 at Soisy s/s Montmorency (Val d’Oise)

marital status: Married, one child

nationality: French

Research activities

Fractal modelling and analysis of urban fabrics and road networks, methodological investigations of fractal measuring methods. Introduction of morphological indicators for describing the spatial organization of urban fabrics.

Cooperation with economists and geographers on the integration of a fractal model of cities within an urban economic model. Use of fuzzy set theory to describe the evaluation and decision making processes.

Development of interdisciplinary reading of decision-making processes involved in residential choice through surveys and theoretical reflection. Work on modelling and formalizing these decision making processes.

Work on planning concept for the sustainable development of agglomerations based on a fractal approach. Implementation of computer tools to make this approach operational through the simulation of development scenarios. Reflections on the optimization of accessibility to amenities frequented by residents.

Curriculum vitae


Breheny Prize for the most innovative paper in Environment and Planning B in 2015.

2015 – 2016

Delegation (half position) at IFSTTAR (The French Institute of science and technology for transport development and network), Laboratory LVMT, Marne-la-Vallée, France


Visiting professor at Vienna University of Technology (Austria).


Research stay at Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium).


Senior member of the IUF (French University Institute), Paris, France (high excellence institution recruiting yearly about 150 new members for a research delegation of 5 years with individual annual research budget)


Prize of the PREDIT (Programme for research and innovation in overland transport – French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea) for the project: “Using fractal geometry to develop a lasting planning strategy” (2005–2007), (Academic lead and programme manager)


Setting up and heading the ‘mobility-city-transport’ team at UMR 6049 THEMA


Director of the Research Institute UPRESA 6049 THEMA. Commitment to reorganization of the unit, strengthening contacts with international partners. Leading research seminars and thematic conferences.


Professor of geography, University of Franche-Comté.

Accreditation to supervise research at University of Franche-Comté(title: Scales, Hierarchies and the Urban Phenomenon).


Lecturer in geography at the University of Franche-Comté. Continuation of research into fractal analysis of urban fabrics, extension of methods and application at other scales of analysis, work on modelling urban dynamics, responsibility for research contracts.


Visiting researcher at University of Franche-Comté (EA IRADES).


PhD in geography at University of Paris 1 (title: the fractality of urban structures. Supervisor: D. Pumain).


Researcher at the laboratory of applied systemics at the University of Dortmund.


PhD in theoretical physics at Stuttgart (subject: description of the evolution of urban systems using the master equation. Supervisor: W. Weidlich).


DEA postgraduate diploma (ATEG, University of Paris 1).


Member of interdisciplinary research group of Theoretical Physics Laboratory (University of Stuttgart).


Master’s degree/DEA (‘Diplom’) at the Theoretical Physics Laboratory (University of Stuttgart).


Editing responsibilities and tutor at the centre for foreign languages of the University of Stuttgart.


Physics studies at the University of Stuttgart, participation in courses in philosophy, 1984-1986 history, urban sociology and planning.

Commissions of trust

  • Member appointed by the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea of the Evaluation Commission of Researchers (COMEVAL), (recruitments and promotions of the more than 400 researchers depending on this Ministry and associated Research Institutions, since 2015).
  • Expert for promotion evaluation of Montréal University / Canada. Member appointed by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Research and Technical Council of IRSTEA (National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, since 2012).
  • Member appointed by the French Ministry of Higher Education andScientific Research of the Specialised Commission of the Department “Territory” of IRSTEA. The commission recruits the Researches and ensures tracking the Research Activities (2008 – 2012).
  • Appointed Member of three AERES (National Agency for Evaluating Research Laboratories) Visiting Committees, France (2010/2012/2013).
  • Member of a stabilisation commission for a tenure track position in Lausanne, Switzerland (2011)Member of recruitment commission in geography (Rouen 2009 and 2011, Strasbourg 2009, 2011, 2016), France (2009 – 2016).
  • Chair of the permanent university recruitment commission in geography (2004 – 2008).
  • Chair of four ad hoc university recruitment commission in geography, University of Franche-Comté, France (2009 – 2016).Member of the Executive board of the ASRDLF, participation in PhD evaluation (Philippe Aydalot award), France, since 1998.

Evaluation of research projects

  • Austria: Academy of Sciences (2011)
  • Israel: Science Foundation (2009)
  • Switzerland: Research Ministry (2005)

Administrative responsibilities and research leadership:

  • Head of the postgraduate geography option ‘New methods and techniques in human and social sciences’. Local head of the multisite postgraduate diploma ‘Spatial structures and dynamics’ (2000-2004).
  • Head of the research specialty ‘Spatial structures and dynamics’ of the human and social science department master’s course option ‘geography and territories’ (University of Franche-Comté) (2004-2006).
  • Joint supervision of an interdisciplinary, multi-education programme (‘City-estate-territory’) intended for preparing the project to create a centre for human sciences and the environment (MSHE) in Besançon (1997-2005)
  • Member of the steering committee for setting up the Claude-Nicolas Ledoux Centre for Human Sciences (MSHE) in Besançon (2001-2005).
  • Member of the UMS MSHE Claude-Nicolas Ledoux council (2005-2007)
  • Setting up and joint supervision of two working groups at MSHE ‘Observatory of urban action’ and ‘Modelling of evaluation, choice and cooperative phenomena’ (2005-2007).
  • Chair of the specialist commission in geography (sections 23/24) (2004 – until they were abandoned in 2008)
  • Member of the laboratory council of the USR 3124 MSHE Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (2008-2012)
  • Chair of three selection committees (2010, 2012, 2013)
  • Member of a stabilization commission in Lausanne (Switzerland) (2011)
  • Member of selection committees (Rouen 2009 and 2011, Strasbourg 2009 and 2011)
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the University of Franche-Comté (2005-2012)

Research project and contract responsibilities

  • Two contracts with private partner (Daimler), theme: residential strategy 1998/1999 and modelling 2000/2001)
  • Pir-ville (urban morphology),
  • PUCA (Urban planning, Construction, Architecture) project: residential car parking
  • PUCA project: urban morphogenesis
  • PREDIT (Programme for research and innovation in overland transport) project: using fractal geometry to develop a lasting planning strategy (2005-2007). This project won a PREDIT award (2008).Interdisciplinary ANR
  • ECDESUP project (evaluation, choice and decision making in the use of urban and periurban spaces) (2007-2012)

Scientific responsibility

  • PREDIT EFFETS (experimentation of a decision support tool: estimating the impact of working from home on journeys and the levels of greenhouse gas emissions) project (2010-2014)
  • PREDIT Vilmodes (modelling and evaluating scenarios for cities and sustainable mobility) project (2011-2014)

Participation in other contracts

  • Joint supervision of a contract with the French Planning Commission (2002)
  • Joint head of PREDIT (Mobisim - daily and residential mobility) project (2009 – 2012)
  • Involved in the ‘Space and extension of cities’ project of ACI (Interdisciplinary Concerted action) ‘Space and Territory’
  • Involved in the FEDER Research program ODIT (Observatory of the industrial and territorial dynamics, 2011-2015)ANR Research program FractalGrid (2016-2019)

Organization of scientific meetings

  • Organization of the special session “Complex-cités d'aujourd’hui et de demain”, Annual Colloquium of the ASRDLF (French-language regional science association), France (2015 )
  • Joint head of organization of the meeting of the working group Modelling Urban Systems of the European Research Group S4 (Spatial Simulation for Social Sciences), Besançon, France, (2009)
  • Joint head of organization of the meeting of the working group Modelling Urban Systems of the European Research Group S4, Paris, France Monitoring committee (2006)
  • Member of the monitoring committee of the Luxembourg MOEBIUS (MObilities, Environment, Behaviors, Integrated in Urban Simulation) project (2010 - 2013)

Research networks

Commitment to several research groups (Libergéo, Ever, Aspe)Joint head of the MODUS group within the S4 group (European Research Group for Spatial Simulation for the Social Sciences).

  • Member of the ASRDLF (French-language regional science association) board of directors, participation in PhD evaluation (Philippe Aydalot award).
  • Joint head of organization of the ASRDLF colloquium in 2012 in Belfort
  • Invitation to participate in ‘multifractal analysis’ research group

Reviewer for international scientific journals

Fractals; Physica A; Environment and Planning B; Computers, Environment and Urban Systems; Advances in Complex Systems; Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Geographical Analysis; Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society; Journal of Geographical Systems; Landscape and Urban Planning; Cybergeo; L’Espace Géographique etc;

Presentations by invitation:

  • More than 20 presentations by invitation INED (1993 and 2008), INSEE (1993), EHESS (1995 and 2012), ENSA Lyon, ADEME, PREDIT (four presentations 2004-2006), etc.


  • Colloquium ‘33. Deutscher Naturschutztag, Magdeburg’ (2016), Magdeburg, Germany, invited presentation
  • ICCSA, 4th International Conference on Complex Systems and Applications, Le Havre (2014), France, invited as keynote speaker
  • Colloquium ‘Building the urban future and Transit Oriented Development’, Paris – Marne-la-Vallée (2012), France, invited presentation
  • Final colloquium of ANR Plainsudd project, Lyon (2012), invited presentation
  • Colloquium ‘19th German language colloquium for theory and quantitative methods in geography’, Heidelberg (2011), Germany, invited as keynote speaker
  • Colloquium ‘Mobil.TUM2008’, Munich (2008), invited presentation

Invitations to research seminars in high ranked universities

  • Research Seminar (2016), Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Department of Planning, University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Research Seminar (2012), Department of Geography, University of Beijing, China
  • Research Seminar (2010), Technical University of Vienna, Department of Spatial Planning

Invitation to thematic schools, summer schools, workshops

  • Thematic school ‘physics of socioeconomic systems’ organised by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft at Constance (Germany) (2004),
  • International workshop ‘The Dynamics of Complex Urban Systems: An interdisciplinary approach’, Ascona (2004).
  • 24th ERSA summer school ‘Modelling Cities and Urban Dynamic’ University of Luxembourg (2011),
  • 6thAnnual French Complex Systems Summer School ‘Pattern detection in Complex Systems’ (2012) (Institute of Complex Systems – Paris ÎledeFrance),
  • MOEBIUS (MObilities, Environment, Behaviours, Integrated in Urban Simulation) workshop, CEPS, Luxembourg (2011).

Interventions by invitation (as consultant)

  • Vienna planning department (Austria) (2010),
  • Jining District City Council (China) (2012),
  • Besançon city council (2012),
  • Franche-Comté regional economic, social and environmental council (2012) (two interventions).
  • Participation by invitation in a working group of the local department of infrastructure and agriculture for the Doubs area to draw up a local planning charter for thrifty management of space (2010).

Consultancy work

  • Set up of an exhibition hall ‘In search of the ideal city’ at Arc-et-Senans former salt works (2000),
  • Consultant in COST10 action ‘Outskirts of Cities’ (2001-2004),
  • Consultant for ATN design office on modelling the strategy of public players in the context of developing a traffic simulation tool (‘Mobisim’ project) (2004).

Software development

Involved in supervising the developement of several software packages:

  • Fractalyse and FracGis: allows analyzing fractal properties of textures


  • MUP-city: tool for intraurban fractal planning


  • Fractalopolis : tool for fractal planning of metropolitan areas
  • Morpholim: allows delimiting morphological envelop of metropolitan areas


Participation in research documentary film

  • Participation in the film ‘Le train dans la ville’ directed by Christian Lallier, commissioned by the Ministry of Ecology, Power, Sustainable Development and Regional Planning (2009).

Teaching activities in other institutions

  • Invitation to a series of lectures (Master’s course) in the department of geography of the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve (2006).
  • Visiting professor at Vienna Technological University in the Department for regional development, infrastructure and environmental planning (February to April 2012) - lecture series (Master’s)