Pierre-Antoine Landel holds an engineering degree in agriculture and a degree in economics. Over a period of 20 years he held various positions as senior engineer in local government, supervising agriculture, the environment and the arts. In 2000 he moved to Grenoble-Alpes University and started research into territorial development. In 2008-13 he served as a local policy-maker, in particular as the deputy-chair of a metropolitan council and head of the committee drafting the corresponding Urban Master Plan.
His unusual stance, at the interface between research and action, enables him to query the contribution of experience to building transmissible knowledge in the field of territorial development. He is particularly interested in the construction of territorial intelligence, at the meeting point between various forms of knowledge, some local, other imported, others still gleaned from action. In a context of increasingly territorial public policy, he questions the autonomy of actors and organizations, and their capacity to take part in building their territorial projects.
As a member of the Cermosem territorial development platform, located at Miribel, Ardèche, his main research fields have been Mediterranean hinterlands, north and south, but particularly in Morocco. He has focused on building territorial resources and more specifically on using heritage in processes to pinpoint and consolidate territorial specificities. His research has also addressed changing relations between metropolis and hinterland, and the social innovation that may be associated with such changes.