Neighborhoods in transition

Urban riverbanks as an opportunity for architectural design

Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
19-21 October 2021

Today, the changing relations between cities and their rivers raise – after a certain exclusion of waterways from urban areas – a series of questions on their renewal potentials. Indeed, urban densification objectives may resonate with flood protection strategies, which, in turn, opens up new investigation fields for the future of urban riverbanks. In this perspective, abandoned sites, such as fluvial brownfields, represent a significant potential for the creation of new, sustainable neighborhoods.

The PhD seminar “Neighborhoods in transition – Urban riverbanks as an opportunity for architectural design” was conceived to explore these issues. Supported by SwissUniversities and organized within the axis Integrated Design, Architecture and Sustainability (IDEAS), the Doctoral Program Architecture and Sciences of the City (EDAR) and the research project Rhodanie urbaine, developed by the Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST), the course aimed at supporting exchanges between PhD students in the fields of architecture, urban planning, urban engineering, urban geography and sociology, and interested in the topic “sustainable fluvial neighborhoods”.

The PhD seminar’s program was structured according to four lines of research, considered to be essential to the design of a sustainable fluvial neighborhood: MUTATIONS, LANDSCAPES, PROCESSES and USES. One half-day session was dedicated to the exploration of each of the four themes. Each thematic session included two conferences on pioneer sustainable fluvial neighborhoods, given by external lecturers (architect, urban planner or landscape architect), as well as a round table, which aims at identifying the invariants and specificities of each case study while stimulating interactions between PhD students and lecturers.

Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST)
Prof. Emmanuel Rey

In partnership with
Université de Lausanne (UNIL)
Institut de géographie et durabilité
Dr. Muriel Delabarre, MER

Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture (ENSAP) de Lille
Institut Parisien de Recherche Architecture, Urbanistique et Société (IPRAUS/UMR AUSser)
Prof. Béatrice Mariolle

Université de Liège (ULiège)
Local Environment Management and Analysis (LEMA)
Prof. Sigrid Reiter

With the participation of 
Herzog & De Meuron (Basel), Latz + Partner (Munich), Voies navigables de France, 3Land (Basel), In Situ (Lyon), Flussbad Berlin.

Place and date
Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
19-21 October 2021

Dr. Sophie Lufkin

Videos of the lecturers