Transition: Roadmaps for resilient decarbonizing cities

This workshop in French and in English, proposed in collaboration with the Fondation Braillard, aims at promoting professional interactions and understanding the scale and methods of the ecological transition of cities, in the face of the climate emergency.

The Transition Workshop 2021 offer, in a Masterclass mode, a real-time engagement in the planning processes of the Greater Geneva — one of the most advanced and innovative urban areas worldwide. Together with internationally renowned experts and regional decision-makers, participants will explore methods, tools and procedures to fast-forward the urban transition towards decarbonized cities.

The workshop consists of two modules; a theoretical module (4ECTS) in distance  (June 1 – July 9) and a practical module (4ECTS) in face-to-face (July 12 – 23 in the co-working space of SIG in Geneva). ENAC students can choose to participate in one or the other module as a 4 ECTS ENAC Summer Workshop.

This workshop is open to professionals as well as PhD students and 10 ENAC Master students.

Deadline to register: April 15th 2021

More information:


The ecological transition is now.

Cities, territories and citizens are committed to a change in lifestyle, energy, production, mobility and communication.

Architects, urban planners, administrators, businesses and the general public are demanding a new educational and professionnal project for the future of the 21st century. A new generation of motivated and trained professionals will act as a collective agent of change, to support and inspire the movement towards sustainable development of places, communities, cities and regions.

It is imperative to develop a new cycle of knowledge and know-how to create and accelerate the projects of the ecological transition. Cities and territories need to develop a new negative-emissions project in terms of space, society and aesthetics, as a global and local existential challenge. Scientific data designate the combat against global warming as the prevailing scope of our generation. It demands that negative-emission action agendas be completed or largely implemented before or by 2030. It is time for architects, urban planners and decision-makers to imagine, build and play their own role in this magnificent challenge — humanity’s greatest challenge.

The Workshop presents a new educational framework devised to accelerate the transition of cities led by the project.

The Transition Workshop is set to:

  • Raise awareness in sustainable architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture;
  • Foster and transmit design tools and methods for resilient buildings and cities in the wake of climate emergency;
  • Empower a new generation of space designers (practitioners, public administrators, decision makers) with the capacities to build, rehabilitate, preserve, reuse whilst protecting the environment.

The workshop consists of two modules; a theoretical module (4ECTS) in distance  (June 1 – July 9) and a practical module (4ECTS) in face-to-face (July 12 – 23 in the co-working space of SIG in Geneva). ENAC students can choose to participate in one or the other module as a 4 ECTS ENAC Summer Workshop.

1. Theoretical module, in distance (June 1 – July 9)
The Transition Workshop aims to create a community of skills and spirit. All courses and seminars are organized to be delivered in distance, with the online presence of all participants. If, however, calendar conflicts prevent the follow-up, the FBA may transmit the content to the participants concerned on a deferred basis.

2. Practical module, on the field (July 12 – 23)
Through case studies in the Canton of Geneva and its international environment, we actively respond to the need for responsible, rapid and informed action to transform buildings and cities into sober, resilient and bio-diversified places, for life, solidarity and creativity. Design and construction methods are radically revisited in an open, collaborative and visionary way, well in the spirit of the Geneva framework.

The detailed program can be found here


The key to our working method is a structural association of space and time. If architecture was born on the scale of the object, the 19th century opened up to the scale of the city and the region. In turn, the 21st century opens up the horizon of system and process. These three characteristics of the ecological transition design will be approached in a strategic prospective by means of reverse planning (or back-casting) to give some chances to the countdown imposed by the zero-net carbon engagement of our urban societies on the horizon of 2050. In addition to this, we also work by scenario planning, forecasting, horizon scanning, contingency planning, crisis simulation and trend analysis.


Actors and local communities are making their study cases and knowledge available as impulses to go further towards the decarbonisation of our built framework in terms of:

  • Construction methods and materials
  • Landscape and biodiversity management
  • Production/consumption of energy and other resources
  • Infrastructure and mobility models
  • Urban lifestyles: work, leisure, production, consumption
  • Urban agriculture, permaculture and gardening
  • Citizen participation


Transition contents:

  • Theories and architectural, urban and landscape project frameworks
  • Environment and resources management
  • Economy and cities development
  • Anthropology and habitat sociology

The scales of the ecological transition project:

  • Buildings and neighbourhoods
  • Landscapes and metropolitan regions

To apply for the workshop, send until April 15th to [email protected] the following documents:

To set up your application, send us a file made of the following documents :

  • Copy (scan) of your Identity document
  • Copy (scan) of your Accreditations/academic and professional qualifications
  • Updated CV
  • A cover letter of up to 500 words containing your understanding of the urgency of the ecological transition, your professional involvement and your personal perspectives
  • Specify if you want to follow the entire workshop, or only follow the theoretical part or the practical part.

Selected students will be notified in early May.

The participation fees (950CHF) to the Transition Workshop is sponsored by the Faculty. Students have to cover the cost of transportation.

The challenge is global – and the action agendas are local, in the here and now. We focus on a site in central Geneva, as means to engage the future of the Greater Geneva and its wider region. We work within the practical framework of the urban area and embrace all major regional agents, players and constituent institutions. We do it so reflectively, and impart methods to be applied in any real setting, circumstances and environment.

The Transition Workshop 2021 offers:
  • to Master students: a concise introduction to the issues and dimensions of ecological transition by design;
  • doctoral students: a cross-disciplinary overview to data and tools for the analysis of climate emergencies in the built environment;
  • to young professionals: new tools for the design of the ecological transition at all scales;
  • to administrators: strategic foresight and auditing frameworks for the zero carbon trajectories of cities.

Ours is a vision of a climate resilient, non polluting urban realm contributing to stabilise the global climate. Our vision is a long-standing and proud one: to re-establish/reinvent a leading, informed and caring role for architects, urban designers, planners and key expert and multidisciplinary professionals and researchers. This in turn will help avoid the ecological collapse of our urban civilisation. Our outcomes are informed and advanced planners and designers, new and practical solutions – and a wholly new way of engaging design, planning and development processes to safeguard a habitable planet Earth.

The Transition Workshop creates an innovative educational framework to accelerate the transition of cities thanks to a new generation of architects, designers and decision makers.

  • Transition Workshop is designed as part of the research and culture program The Eco-Century Project® which calls for a radical renewal of principles, methods, theories, and frameworks to face the environmental urgency.
  • It achieves the Sustainable Development goals set by the United Nations.
  • Greater Geneva is an ideal setting for the study of environmental action through the architectural, urban and landscape project.
  • The Programme is developed in the excellent educational setting of the Leman lake.
  • An important network of private and public partners patrons and curates the Workshop.
  • The Transition Workshop is structured as a Strategic Planning Project, based on cooperative, outcome oriented methods applying state of the art design and planning.