E16/17 - INTER-SESSIONS FORUM - Clermont-Ferrand (FR)

3-5 Nov. 2022


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Each Europan session organizes two forums bringing together all the partners on a European scale, at two stages in the development of the biennial competition. One is held between two meetings of the juries at the end of the first year of a session, allowing a common culture to be shared in the evaluation of received ideas. The other, the Inter-Session Forum, is held one year later to bring together and discuss the main players from two successive sessions on a European scale.
Organized from November 3 to 5, 2022 with Clermont Auvergne Métropole, the E16-17 Inter-Sessional Forum was intended to encourage exchanges and debate between Europan 16 players (cities, juries, award-winning teams) and those of Europan 17 (site representatives) in a joint event.
Despite the difficult context and economic situation, more than 220 participants from a dozen different countries were present in the Polydôme in Clermont-Ferrand. Several hundred others followed the Forum live or on-demand thanks to the video capture of most of the debates, which were retransmitted on the Forum's website.

The Forum was designed each day around one or two main debates, with short sequences (conferences, information on the competition, etc.) interspersed between them to create a dynamic rhythm. In the large main space (12 m high) two rooms had been set up: one place exhibited the new E17 sites classified in 3 large families), the information on the different sessions, and allowed informal exchanges around a coffee in 4 rooms with dynamic colors. The other was a large room with 250 seats and a stage that could accommodate from 1 to 18 speakers depending on the rhythm of the program. 


On Thursday, November 3, the day was dedicated to the ideas and visions of the winning E16 teams, allowing them to present their ideas and discuss them among themselves. Three debates allowed for stimulating comparisons by small groups whose approaches could be compared: highlighting the strengthening of biodiversity to repair the city; reinvesting as much as possible in the existing by restoring its potential so that new uses can be grafted onto it; highlighting the need to densify and intensify urban life by using local resources. A conference by the Spanish agency OpenAct, winner of several prizes at Europan, on the theme of the session, punctuated these discussions. The restitution of the workshop - which was held as a preamble to the forum - also took place at the end of the afternoon. And to involve all the teams, it was followed by a presentation of the 76 videos designed by all the winning teams in which they had communicated their visions. A public vote was held to determine which videos were preferred.

> Find here the debates related to the E16 winning ideas
> Find here the OpenAct conference: "Story, Speculation, System, Re-imagining a Territory"
> Find here the complete restitution of the workshop



On Friday November 4th, the morning was dedicated to the Metropolis of Clermont-Ferrand which welcomed us: discovery of the inhabited areas of the Metropolis, introduced by a conference on its missions, followed by guided tours between built heritage, territories in transition, and local Europan achievements. With a visit to the student district Kessler Rabanesse (Europan 6 project) and the district of La Comédie. (designed by the Portuguese architect Souto de Moura); a visit to the new head office of the Michelin company and their industrial heritage in fallow land, associated with the visit of the school of architecture of Clermont-Ferrand, emblematic reconversion of a former sanatorium; finally a visit to the popular district of St Jacques in full "eco-reconversion" with the Chinese wall, a 300m long building of the 70s which, awaiting demolition, is a place of artistic interventions 


In order to make the E16 winners and the new E17 cities understand what kind of realization processes can follow the competition, some recent examples were presented by the teams involved: 1000 homes or a new residential area in Vienna (AT), a territorial guide plan associated with the regeneration of central public spaces in Saint Brieuc (FR), a partially obsolete hall transformed into a space reconnecting two neighborhoods, adaptable to the multiple uses of city dwellers in Torrelavega (ES), a watercourse regaining the ground and energizing public spaces in Laterza (IT). A variety of reinterpreted contexts, where the projects realized try to reconcile nature and city, and which are made through processes of co-production (project negotiated with the actors). A conference given by Les Marneurs also introduced this sequence.

> Find here the debates of the Forum related to the implementation processes
> Find here the Marneurs' conference: "Resources - Risks - Stories" 


Saturday, November 5 - the last day of the forum - was dedicated to the new E17 sites. At this stage of the preparation of the E17 competition (launch March 27, 2023) already 46 sites have been proposed by European cities in 10 different countries. The Forum was the opportunity to present and discuss them. For this purpose, they were classified in 3 families: "Let the birds sing" (or how the reinforcement of biodiversity in shared spaces could become connections of dissociated urban fragments); "Think non tabula rasa" (or how intensification or densification sites should nevertheless pay attention to the ecological dynamics of the sites); "Care for existing" (or how to repair and revitalize with care obsolete urban or architectural fragments). And through an open discussion, site managers and experts tried to discover the potential commonalities of these sites to continue the dialogue on a smaller scale in the next session.

Finally, two conferences related to the theme of Europan 17 accompanied these debates: "the climate as a project material" by Philippe Rahm architect (FR) and "the structuring role of water in the development of territories and urban projects" by Paola Viganò landscape architect (Studio Paola Viganò IT/BE)

> Find here the conference of Philippe Rahm: "How Architecture and Landscape can Deal with the Climate?"
> Find here the conference of Paola Viganò: "How the Water can Play a Structural and Central Role in Urban and Architectural Design?"

This Europan Forum shows, once again, beyond the distances reinforced recently by Covid or the war, that there was a need and a strong demand for meetings, exchanges, and commitment to the regeneration of inhabited areas, around the major issues of the beginning of the 21st century. Europan is pursuing, at its own level, through this dynamic forum, its mission to create a debate, visions and achievements around the Ecological Transition.