GREEN DENSITY distinguished by Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

© 2015 EPFL – Alain Herzog

© 2015 EPFL – Alain Herzog

The 2015 swiss-academies transdisciplinary research award recognizes GREEN DENSITY, an architectural research and teaching project focusing on the exploration, development, and multi-criterion comparison of six novel urban visions of the Waldstadt site in Bern (Switzerland).

Every other year, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences’s transdisciplinary research network recognizes exemplary research projects that bring together different scientific disciplines to address important societal questions with the swiss-academies award for transdisciplinary research. This year, the 50,000 CHF prize for the category distinguished achievement was awarded to Professor Emmanuel Rey, from ENAC’s Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies, for GREEN DENSITY, a teaching and research project focusing on the methodological evaluation of sustainable neighborhoods.

GREEN DENSITY provided a better understanding of the inherently complex process of designing new sustainable neighborhoods, drawing on the expertise of architects, urban planners, environmental scientists, building physicists, urban sociologists, and economists. It included two architectural design studios, two summer workshops to further optimize of the best ideas from the design studios and a series of research projects related to their evaluation along multiple dimensions.

Overall, about sixty students were involved in the project, along with fifteen researchers from the Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST), the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Performance-Integrated Design (LIPID), the Urban Sociology Laboratory (LASUR), and the Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Economics (LEURE). To make sure that the results found their way into society at large, the organizers published a book (with the Presses polytechnique et universitaires romandes, PPUR) and organized a public exhibition at the Forum des Architectes in Lausanne.

The project itself centers on the development of a new multi-criterion method to evaluate the sustainability of different urban forms. The result is called Neighborhood-scale Evaluation to Benchmark the Integration of Urban Sustainability, or NEBIUS, and continues to be applied and improved in the context of parts of Yverdon-les-Bains and western Lausanne. More information about GREEN DENSITY can be found here:

The swiss-academies award for transdisciplinary research is supported by the Swiss Mercator-Foundation. Professor Emmanuel Rey will receive the prize on behalf of all of the project’s participants at the International Transdisciplinary Conference at the Congress Center in Basel on September 9, 2015.