Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


The Geneva Debate 2023

The Geneva Debate 2023 will take place this year within the framework of the Braillard Foundation's Transition Workshop, and in particular on the occasion of the fourth session of the Theory Masterclass. Since its establishment in 2016, this event offers to the general public cross views and arguments on matters urban and architectural, in the prism of the ecological transition.

Next, let me note that Geneva, like other European regions, is also at the crossroads of several contradictory currents concerning its future. On the one hand, it is a question of preserving its resources, and in particular its natural spaces, its agricultural areas and its biodiversity. On the other hand, it is about offering housing, work and leisure to its current inhabitants and to those it will welcome in the coming years, thanks to its growth which remains powerful, despite the successive crises we’ve all gone through.

These two currents are opposed and create often harsh cleavages, between the forces that advocate conservation, prudence and the protection of the quality of life, and those fostering urban development, living space for incoming populations and thriving economies. Both tendencies have their arguments and often find themselves face to face, through democratic processes.

The crux of the problem is often the increase in population density and activity intensity. Urban strategies seem to lack the vision and the narratives apt to convince citizens that cities still have the capacity to accommodate both the demographic evolution and the ecological imperatives. As for urban forms, they do not seem to represent a new building culture that aims at the ecological transition.

A new approach to the thorny issue of density, from an urban and architectural point of view, attached to the objectives of the ecological transition, could nurture decision-making, while reorienting the urban development.

Thus, we propose a first discussion structure that we leave to you to adapt to the dynamics of the debate:
Alexandre Hedjazi (keynote pitch), the issues of the Mayors' Forum organized by UNECE/UNO in Geneva
Peter Droege, the urban ecological urgency in terms of resources and policies
Paola Viganò, the European experience of cities in search of socio-ecological transition
Winy Maas, the conceptual passages between territorial, urban and architectural scales
Ariane Widmer, the Cross-Border Territorial Vision and the new narrative in the Greater Geneva
Andrea Gritti, architectural and urban forms, between history and development
Duncan Baker-Brown, cities facing the challenge of the circular economy
Period1 Jun 2023
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Circular Cities
  • Climate Literacy
  • Urban design and planning
  • Architecture