Helvepolis, an integrative vision for the Swiss Plateau
29.11.17 - In the last edition of the "Cahiers de l'ASPAN", Prof. Emmanuel Rey presents an integrative vision for the territories of the Swiss Plateau. Called Helvepolis, it constitutes a synthesis of multiple research works developed within the Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST).
Due to the numerous challenges related to the metropolization of the Swiss Plateau, territorial development faces today two pitfalls: on the one hand, to maintain a diffusion that can tend to a certain lack of differentiation and, on the other, to promote an excessive concentration of values in the major urban centers.
Reacting to this observation, a more integrative vision was outlined in the context of our work on the densification of urban territories, especially those dealing with the issues related to the return to the city, the regeneration of urban wastelands, the creation of suburban polarities or the densification of peri-urban areas.
With a long-term perspective, Helvepolis is a structured set of diverse territories, which complementary components work in synergy and are interconnected by spatial, cultural, infrastructural, and landscaped networks. Within this polycentric and reticular approach, symbiotic relationships connect urban environments, where most of the consumers are located, and areas of agricultural, industrial or artisanal production.
Such a vision is beyond the logic of a socio-economic development focusing exclusively on large centers. Not exempt from a certain density hierarchy, it assumes a differentiated polarization principle in urban, suburban, peri-urban or rural areas.