“Campus Piéton” Project

© EPFL Niels Ackermann 2021

© EPFL Niels Ackermann 2021

A greener, more user-friendly campus, better adapted to climate change: this is the aim of the “Campus Piéton” (Pedestrian Campus) project, to which the EPFL community is called upon to contribute from 2022.

Let’s take a look into the future…  

Walking through the EPFL campus on a hot day, users are greeted by green spaces protected from the sun. Groups of students looking for inspiration outside the buildings connect to solar terminals to discuss a project. At noon, staff and student body members share a workout.

When the rain comes, covered areas allow for outdoor living. And in winter, the gloom is less gray, as some of the roads where buses and cars used to pass have become pedestrianized, enriched with user-friendly street furniture. The members of the EPFL community settle down in the shelter of the wind as soon as the first rays of sunshine appear, taking advantage of a diversified and ever more tempting offer of restaurants.

The old sidewalks, inconvenient for people with reduced mobility, have been replaced by functional surfaces. Bicycles and scooters are welcome, but channeled. Everywhere games, artworks and water areas flourish amidst the green spaces. Working, eating, moving and relaxing have never been so pleasant on the EPFL campus.

Onwards to 2024!

This vision of the future is not science fiction, but the objective of the Campus Piéton project, which aims to close the axis between Avenue Piccard and Route des Noyerettes to traffic to leave more space for vegetation, people and their activities. Access for emergency and service vehicles will be reorganized, and above all the participation of the EPFL community will be encouraged in order to define together the modalities of the implementation.

Who, what, when, how?

The EPFL management approved the project proposed by the Vice Presidency for Responsible Transformation in May 2021 with an estimated budget of 5 million francs over 3 years. The financing plan for the project is being developed with the support of the Vice Presidency for Finances.

The ALICE and Lab-U laboratories and the Habitat Research Center (HRC) of the ENAC School quickly rallied to the project and put a teaching unit (Poly-Trees Species Trajectories), two ENAC week topics, one studio and one course of the Architecture Section (Studio Viganò and Territorial and Urban Analysis) entirely dedicated to the requalification of the campus on the program for the spring semester 2022. This is a unique opportunity for bachelor and master students to reflect and work directly on their daily living space.

Interdisciplinary research projects are also planned in order to transform the EPFL campus in Ecublens into a real “living lab” where, for example, innovations in terms of adaptation to climate change, rainwater management, reuse of construction materials or innovative urban furniture can be tested.

Public forums organized by the laboratories and research centers, in collaboration with the EPFL Sustainability Unit, will take place regularly throughout the project. The entire EPFL community is invited to attend these forums, which are organized around thematic workshops aimed at identifying the needs and expectations of campus users and contributing to the creation of a collective vision of the campus of tomorrow.

Forums

Forum 1 – March 9, 2022

Program

Photos  by Niels Ackermann © 2022 EPFL

Forum 2 – June 20, 2022

Program (in French)

  • 1:30 pm – presentation of the state of progress of the contributive process
  • 2:15 pm – thematic workshops in small groups on the first project ideas
  • 4:30 pm – return of the groups and general discussion
  • 6:00 pm – aperitif on the Copernic terrace

Free admission to all members of the EPFL community upon registration.

Contributive platform

A web platform dedicated to the contributive approach is also available to allow an overview of the process and remote participation. It contains information regarding the events and their documentation, the videos of the live discussion forums and the interactive work boards used as a basis for the process.

>> Go to the platform

We are looking forward to seeing many of you there, as well as at the public events that will punctuate this process in the coming years!