Genève (CH), E13
Site Location Onex - Bernex - Confignon, Switzerland
Category Urban - architectural
Site Family How to integrate vacant sites into urban development?
Commision after competition Mandate to study and assist the transformation process of the suburban single dwelling area
How can the site contribute to the adaptable city?
The site is part of a suburban fabric of “villas”. In the late 1950's, increasing the density in that type of urban environment became a strategy that contributed to densify substantially the number of housing units in the Geneva territory. First, large expanses of free lands were used to develop quality neighborhoods. In recent times, densification had to be carried out on plots of land that were smaller and already built, based on a development procedure favoring the replacement of villas by land reorganization and the construction of collective housing. However, many villas are still inhabited by their owners who are afraid that housing developments will threaten their home-owner lifestyle, their social ties or their moving and shopping habits. Another blocking factor comes from the use of complex planning tools, which create significant constraints, particularly in terms of land-price control or minimum density.
This led to a patchwork of small development projects, based on land acquisition opportunities, without any overall urban project or coordinated land-use strategy. Therefore, the objective is to suggest a transformation of the suburban fabric based on a method that could better reflect the aspirations and interests of the existing stakeholders, while promoting a rapid emergence of new densely populated neighborhoods. The transformation should breed social and morphological diversity structured around public spaces and facilities, in order to create a vibrant and high quality urban life.