Villes en sous-sol. Pour une transition à la durabilité des espaces...

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International Research Center on Sustainability

Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne

Underground Cities

Living below the Surface:

Supporting Urban Transition to Sustainability

Workshops & conference

OCT. 2016

from Wednesday 26 to Thursday 27

Organized by the IRCS

Aménagement &

Géographie politique EA 2076 HABITER International Research Center on Sustainability


Institut d'Aménagement des Territoires,d'Environnement et d'Urbanisme

de Reims


Underground Cities - Living Below the Surface:

Supporting Urban Transition to Sustainability

The sixth edition of the Rencontres Internationales de Reims on Sustainability Science addresses the livability of underground spaces, and how they can contribute to successful urban transi- tions to sustainability. Traditionally, the focus in the three-dimen- sional city is only on height growth. Still, urban subterranean world already host components and networks crucial to ensure a proper functioning of the city. In addition, more and more ci- ties are also designing their future development underground, around the world. They consider underground space to be essential to regulate urban sprawl: Saving land through a bet- ter distribution of the urban functions, part of them below the surface. Japanese and Canadian underground developments, in relation with the subway system, made it possible to opti- mize the necessary public investments through the creation of stores and amenities along the subterranean pathways used by the commuters, which eventually became malls in disguise.

More recently, urban land shortage brought about new planning strategies that include what is below the surface: For example, when there is a high property pressure, people start selling or renting their basement as apartments. Master plans start to anticipate long-term underground use —which includes living below the surface— in many cities. The pioneer was Helsinki, which conceived an Underground Master Plan as soon as 2011.

Moscow intends to build a “City under Moscow” with boulevards, offices, stores, sports facilities, cinemas, museums and even apartments connected directly to subway and railway stations.

In Asia —Chine, Singapore or Japan— number of cities ini- tiated underground development plans.

The potential for urban densification by using the underground space is progressively getting admitted by the local authorities and thus included in public policy agendas. In this conference, we make the assumption that urban planning and design should most definitely engage the depths of the city, as an alternative to urban densification and to externalize nuisances. But actual underground planning —while in progress— suffers from sec- tored tunnel vision. On the one hand, sectored planning result in the establishment of not connected “underground islands” or

“underground patches”. On the other hand, permanent livability of subterranean spaces faces numerous cultural, physiological and technical challenges. Lastly, traditional planning already relegated below the surface the technical facilities and devices that were supposed to be hidden (catacombs, sewers, transport

systems, etc.) as well as the activities physiologically “accep- table” without daylight (stores, logistics, etc.). Such a strategic bias coined underground areas primarily as service areas. How could we change this and convert the underground areas into real living places?

This sixth edition of the Rencontres Internationales de Reims on Sustainability Science is in line with the Projet National Ville 10D – Ville d’idées ( It calls for the co-operation of various disciplines through 4 different topics that will ignite the debates (behavioral and cognitive strategies;

landscapes and architecture; energy efficiency and comfort;

sustainable planning). The objectives are determining:

• Under which conditions sustainable urban living below the surface is feasible;

• What would be the appropriate planning tools to make it happen?

Three half-day workshops will structure this conference under three headings:

1. Underground planning: Wishful thinking or reality?

2. Living below the surface: Spatial qualities, usages and types of governance.

3. How subterranean areas may foster urban transitions to sustainability?

This conference attempts to shed light on a new urban develop- ment process inclusive of what is under the surface. It addresses crucial theoretical issues such as the recycling of urban areas from an “underground perspective”, and tries to design a future for such cities.

François Mancebo Director of the IRCS Sylvie Salles

ENS Architecture Paris Val de Seine


Wednesday 26 oCTOBer

9.00 am - 9.30 am Registration and Welcome Coffee

9.30 am - 10.00 am Welcome Speech & Opening

Catherine Vautrin - President of Reims Métropole, Chair of the Association des villes universitaires de France

Guillaume Gellé - President of the University of Reims

François Mancebo - Director of the IRCS IATEUR, Université of Reims

10.00 am - 10.30 am

Keynote Speech - Mangroves urbaines, du métro à la ville. Paris, Montréal, Singapour

David Mangin - Urban architect

10.30 am - 12.45 pm

Thematic 1 - The underground development:

utopia or reality?

Discussant: François Mancebo

10.30 am - La ville du dessous , quels repères pour l’usager de la ville ?

Alain Bourdin - University professor at the Institut Français d’Urbanisme and director of the Revue Internationales d’Urbanisme

11.00 am - Complexes souterrains à Maresha : La ville souterraine de la période hellénistique dans les contreforts de Judée, Israël Amos Kloner - Archaeologist and professor emeritus at the Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan (Israel)

11.30 am - Mines de rien : de la guerre souterraine planifiée en Europe de 1750 à 1916

André Guillerme - Professor of history of technology at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM)

12.00 pm- Debate

12.45 pm - 2.00 pm Lunch 2.15 pm - 5.00 pm Thematic 2 - Underground space:

spatial quality, and governance practices

Discussant: Alain Bourdin

2.15 pm - Stratégies cognitives pour l’orientation et la navigation dans les espaces souterrains

Alain Berthoz - Honorary Professor at the Collège de France (Chair physiology of perception and action), french engineer and neurophysiology, member of the Academy of Sciences (since 2003) and the Academy of Technology (since 2010) 2.45 pm - La spatialité straussienne pour envisager la ville souterraine

Catherine Grout - Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Lille (ENSAP) and researcher at the LACTH

3.15 pm - Parcours souterrains : Aménager à partir des pratiques Sylvie Salles - Professor of geography and landscape architecture at the ENS Architecture Paris Val de Seine and researcher at the International Research Center on Sustainbility (IRCS)

15.45 pm - Navigational memory and environmental orientation:

individual differences and strategies

Cecilia Guariglia - Professor at the University La Sapienza (Rome, Italy) 4.15 pm - Debate

5.00 pm - End of the first day

Thursday 27 oCTOBer

9.30 am - 10.00 am Welcome Coffee

10.00 am - 12.30 am Thematic 3 - Underground in transition to sustainable cities

Discussant: Sylvie Salles

10.00 am - Un autre monde en sous-sol : stratégies d’aménagement pour une ville souterraine durable

François Mancebo - Director of the IRCS (International Research Center on Sustainability) and of the IATEUR (Institut d’Aménagement du Territoire, d’Environnement et d’Urbanisme de l’Université de Reims)

10.30 am - La ville souterraine, des conflits environnementaux à de nouvelles synergies

Aurèle Parriaux - Engineering geology professor at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne

11.00 am - Architecture et espaces souterrains : de l’innovation isolée à l’urbanisme connecté

Monique Labbé - DPLG architect and committee chair «Espace souterrain» of the l’Association Française des Tunnels et de l’Espace Souterrain (AFTES)

11.30 am - Debate

12.30 pm - End of the Rencontres






The Conference is organized by the International Research Center on Sustainability (IRCS) that develops research in transitions to sustainability of spaces and societies. This research center is part of the Habiter research laboratory of the Rheims University.


Council Room City Hall

1 place de l’Hôtel de Ville 51100 Reims

Scientific contact François Mancebo Tél : (+33) 6 12 53 74 46

Administrative Contact Sébastien Piantoni Tél : (+33) 3 26 91 36 81

Practical Information

International Research Center on Sustainability


Aménagement &

Géographie politique


Institut d'Aménagement des Territoires, d'Environnement et d'Urbanisme

de Reims




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