Sustainable Utopias Geneva debate 2016 – Geneva territory, an open work

27 April 2016, 18:30 - 20:00   —  
The Eco-Century Project®
— Conferences
— Debates




Adrien BESSON, Architect engineer, doctor in sciences EPFL, founding member of the architectural firm group8, Geneva
Alain LÉVEILLÉ, Architect engineer and town planner, former head of the Research Centre
of CRR urban renovation of the Institute of architecture of the University of Geneva
Michèle TRANDA-PITTION, Architect and town planner, teaching assistant in the universities of Lausanne and Geneva, founder of TOPOS Urbanisme, Geneva
Paola VIGANÒ, Architect-town planner, professor at the EPFL and IUAV, director of Lab-U/ EPFL, founding member of the Studio 16 agency in Milan

To envision, visualise and create a vision of an urban territory cannot be done in one go. It is an open work, the beginning and end of which are lost in the confines of history on the one hand and in foresight on the other. In the case of Geneva this formulation is undoubtedly on the table as this small-surfaced urban organism sometimes seems to reach the limits of its growth, the “end of (its) game”. Yet, like other similar urban situations (such as the Netherlands, Singapore or Manhattan), the Geneva area resonates with creative energy, echoes with political and social visions, and concentrates interests, the diversity of which inspires dynamics. The legislative framework for urbanisation is evolving and requires new formal interpretations, new forms of living together. The scales of projects are beginning to overlap to create programmatic hybridisations with new meanings. As the curtain slowly opens, civil society actively asserts often contradictory positions. The small Platonic republic is coming out of its lacustrine lethargy and touches on a metropolitan future. These are all small jolts that prepare citizens’ reflexes, professional postures and intellectual aspirations for the debate on the future of the Geneva area: what strategy, for whom, how much, for when and how? Although these questions can be overwhelmingly heavy, it is only through global conceptions inscribed in the context of an ecological awareness on a planetary scale that the urban planning of the future will escape countertop logic. The debate on the open work of the Geneva territory did not manage to avoid the burning question: end of game, or end of recess?