Federation for
Housing and

Urban frontiers: exploring the edges of Paris

Monday 22.04.2013 to Friday 26.04.2013
Wissous/ Fresno / Rungis (Montjean Plain, south of Paris)

Before the International Symposium “Garden Cities, an ideal to be pursued”, Urbego and the IAU île-de-France are organizing a 4-days workshop on the theme of garden cities.

The workshop within the Symposium
The workshop has a cross-cutting approach in exploring and analyzing the possibilities for a reinterpretation and applicability of the Garden Cities concepts in the 21th century.

We would like to focus on these possibilities by concentrating on different aspects: the different responses to the original garden city idea in the history, contemporary examples around the world, the fundamental values which give garden cities idea its topical relevance and the variables/criteria which have to be considered in a process of application of this idea to new context (adaptability at different scales, appearance of new actors in the urban scene, the priority of climate resilience, participation and the sustainable community building). This theme has also an ideal meaning: a sort of baton changeover in which the young professionals re-discover the lessons of the past and the foundational experience of IFHP and use them in a new way to answer to the current urban challenges.

Workshop programme
The Montjean plain is a fragile site strategically located in the north of the Orly airport. This area is expected to change in future with a specific attention to the quality of the open spaces including the projects of new urban neighborhoods.

The workshop will explore different scenarios for the transformation of one of these neighborhoods located at the edge of this area. It will seek different approaches  for the transformation, promoting cultural exchanges between young professionals from different countries and fields (architecture, urban planning, geography, landscape). The group of young experts will explore the creative relationship between habitat, a strategic and accessible location and an environment constrained by the noise, in search of a balance between the built environment and the open space. The garden cities idea serves as a guideline.

The essential characteristics of the workshop are:

  • diversity of participants’ profiles: professional/study fields,
  • nationality; the participants are selected based on their CV
  • young age of participants (<35)
  • a degree of independency from the Symposium and at the same time a common space to develop a young planner platform within the IFHP
  • a junior consultants (participants) - clients(local authorities) relation in line with one of the objectives of the creation of a URBEGO platform
  • an opportunity to contribute to a local decision making process and at the same time to take part to an international debate

Transforming a neighborhood at the city edge
The area southeast of the Plain Montjean has a strategic location: it is close to the Orly Airport, on the edge of large Silic business park, next to a train station that will also be served by a new tram line in 2014. It is currently occupied by community gardens and a parceling. The landscape is very open, but the area suffers from airplane noise. However, the new facilities, as well as many economic projects will increase the urban pressure on the area.

How, in this context, is it possible to maintain a supply of affordable and livable housing? How improve the existing parceling? How to deal with the edge of the open space of the plain? How to integrate public transport and the existing functions in the new development? What housing typologies are suitable in this location, is the model cities gardens still relevant for this context?

Objectives of the workshop
The objective of this workshop is to define several scenarios of development of the district of La Fraternelle (in the Montjean plain), by testing and confronting different hypotheses about its development. The garden city principle will guide the different scenarios to various forms of urban development, answering some of the following themes:

  • The ambition of the neighborhood
  • The neighborhood identity, sense of community
  • A certain density
  • The balance among built-up areas
  • The role and the quality of  the public space
  • The accessibility at different scales
  • Relationship with nature and landscape, and even local agriculture
  • Housing design and evolution of life style
  • The response to noise issue
  • Functional diversity - the role of public facilities and workplaces
  • Architectural requirements to provide overall consistency

The outputs will take the form of sketches in jpeg format.

Why participate
The workshop provides a unique opportunity for young professionals to improve knowledge, skills and attitudes for understanding and planning the urban processes of today. It represents an occasion to take part in an international symposium, to widen the professional network and meet international experts.

It is also an opportunity to develop projects and ideas on a concrete planning case and to work closely with the local actors .The workshop will acquaint the young professionals with French and international experience in planning through excursions sessions and debates which gives the participants additional energy and motivation.

This event is an opportunity to be involved in a new international young platform, to gain space in the planning debate and to enjoy the city via different and entertaining social events.

The participants are expected to cover their travel cost to and from Paris as well as any other expenses during their stay. A contribution can be provided by IFHP.

Applications should contain a short CV. The application should be sent to: or 

Deadline for applications is 26 March 2013
Successful applicants will be informed by 28 March 2013

For further information, please contact