HomeKnowledge and models concerning sustainable town planning and architecture

HomeKnowledge and models concerning sustainable town planning and architecture

Knowledge and models concerning sustainable town planning and architecture

Savoirs et modèles de l'urbanisme et de l'architecture durables

2013 RAMAU Conferences

Rencontres RAMAU 2013

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Published on Tuesday, May 07, 2013


Following the conferences on the architectural and town planning professions and the challenge represented by residents and users, the RAMAU network continues its cycle focussed on the development of the knowledge and practices of those involved in architecture and town planning and the effects of the need to incorporate sustainable development.



The need to develop sustainable architecture and town planning introduces new requirements for professionals as well as for institutions and residents. It implies the development of new skills and, as a result, questions the methods to be used by players to adapt to new environmental challenges (climate, energy, biodiversity, etc.). Within the scope of the RAMAU 2013 conferences, we have chosen to examine the process for the distribution of new knowledge and practices, from one-off experiments through to more widespread methods.

In the current phase, being one seeing the generalised application of environmental objectives, the mobilised models are highly varied:

  • operations (example of the Vauban ecodistrict in Fribourg),
  • systems, tools, benchmarks and methods (HEQ, Climate Change Plan, etc.),
  • knowledge and “good practice”,
  • leading figures known for their exemplary approach to trajectory, practices and/or completed works.

These models are based on new knowledge for those involved in town planning and architecture, occasionally exogenous, under construction, as yet not particularly stable and imported from other professions or disciplines. They circulate through the domain of the production of built space, especially via the channel of both specialist and general interest media, through initial and continuous training courses, or within networks (elected representatives, clients, citizen organisations, etc.).

These models and knowledge are constructed within contexts that are worthwhile exploring. They result from experimentation frameworks and more or less intentional capitalisation (inherited, transformed, invented) by players at different scales. Apart from territorial action and architectural or urban scenes, they arrive via legitimisation and standardisation agencies (professional organisations or elected representatives, public study centres, etc.), educational or training centres (schools of architecture and engineering, urban planning and development institutes, professional training bodies, etc.) and more or less imposed acculturation and apprenticeship or support systems (technical standardisation, certification, benchmarks, action plans and programmes, competitions, labels, etc.). This crystallised knowledge has effects - as yet not analysed in detail - on the organisation of spatial production and management activities.


The proposed papers could concern several of the following themes and examine them in a transversal and iterative manner.

Genesis: from experience to models

How does a model emerge in the field of architecture and town planning? How does an experience responding to sustainability issues become exemplary? What route is taken by singular experimental research to attain its capitalisation in the form of a model? Must a model necessarily be innovative and transferable? The genesis of models could be examined via an entry through the system of players that it involves. In particular, the role played by model precursor or catalyser players and institutions could be further detailed. Who are the “inventors” lying behind the models? What roles are played by bodies such as professional and citizen associations, the Regional Energy and Environment Agencies, the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), university research programmes, research and R&D units, etc. in the construction of models?

Reception: operationalisation, transformation and deconstruction of models

How are models received, used, appropriated or rejected? How do they become operational within specific contexts? The processes of transformation, resilience or disintegration of models in contact with reality will be questioned as will be the manner in which they contribute to the creation of contemporary urban spaces. Between promotion, transposition, resistance, opposition or indifference, in what way do the attitudes of the reception environments contribute to the success of the model? The introduction of new models in the education system and in professions results in controversy and confrontation with pre-existing or alternative models that could be questioned. What power struggles and what battles for a place reveal themselves in the confrontation of models?

Distribution: circulation of models and knowledge

How are models incorporating new knowledge and skills distributed in the fields of architecture and town planning? Are these sustainability models, formulated in the name of a greater good, propagated in ways adapted to specific professional groups and local contexts? How do professional groups and institutions use and even exploit the models that they have contributed to distribute? Who or what are the agents that contribute to the various forms of distribution: practitioners, teachers, professional and associative networks, private players (large companies, start-ups, etc.), institutions (ADEME, Espace Info-Energie), etc.)? Within a context of globalisation, the transnational distribution of knowledge and the internationalisation dynamics of models will also be examined. Finally, in terms of life cycle, what are the factors that explain the loss of momentum and decline of certain models?

Organisation: innovation systems, standardisation

In what way do capitalisation and distribution systems specific to subsidiaries, professions and local authorities contribute to the distribution and success of models? In what way does the regulatory framework (institutional, legal, economic and financial, etc.) favour or prevent the deployment of knowledge and new models? What are the characteristics (territorial, thematic, professional, etc.) of innovation systems? To what degree do standards govern the emergence and deployment of models? Reciprocally, in what way does the success of sustainability models result in the development of new standards? What role do centres of education and training – essentially focussed on the transmission of knowledge – play in the distribution and in the deconstruction of sustainability models?

Submission guidelines

Several forms are expected: results of current research and investigation, experience feedback and reflective accounts, and joint contributions of researchers and professionals.

Contribution proposals can be submitted up to 3 June 2013 in the form of a text of no more than 3,000 characters (including spaces) on the ramau2013.sciencesconf.org site (by creating an account).

RAMAU is an architectural and town planning research network accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Communication. Its mission is to develop scientific exchanges between researchers, as well as between researchers and territorial or administrative professionals and managers, on the changing role of players and means of action in architecture and town planning. It provides an information site: www.ramau.archi.fr and has published various works through Editions de la Villette and other publishers.

The cycle of conferences devoted to sustainable development has already resulted in a dossier published in Métropolitiques.eu: Fabriquer la ville à l’heure de l’injonction au “durable” (building the sustainable city). A book gathering together the 2012 conference papers “Les metiers de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme à l’épreuve de l’implication des habitants et des usagers” (architecture and town planning professions and the challenge of residents and users) is currently being published.


  • 18 April: launch of the call for papers
  • 3 June: submittal of proposals
  • 24 June: answers, confirmation of chosen proposals
  • 20 September: return of articles
  • 14 et 15 November: Ramau 2013 conference

Scientific organisation of the 2013 Conference

Scientific coordination

  • Gilles Debizet, teacher and researcher, Université de Grenoble, UMR PACTE 
  • Patrice Godier, teacher and researcher at PAVE, ENSAP de Bordeaux 
  • Géraldine Molina, researcher at LISST - Cieu, Université de Toulouse II le Mirail

Scientific committee

  • Véronique Biau, director of the Centre de Recherche sur l'Habitat (CRH - UMR LAVUE), Ensa de Paris Val de Seine
  • Michael Fenker, directeur du Laboratoire Espaces Travail (LET - UMR LAVUE), ENSA de Paris La Villette
  • Isabelle Grudet, researcher at Laboratoire Espaces Travail (LET -UMR LAVUE), ENSA de Paris La Villette
  • Laure Héland, teacher and researcher at the Laboratoire Espaces Travail (LET -UMR LAVUE), ENSA de Paris La Villette
  • Elise Macaire, researcher at the Laboratoire Espaces Travail (LET - UMR LAVUE), ENSA de Paris La Villette
  • Nadine Roudil, researcher, Laboratoire Services Process Innovations, CSTB
  • Hélène Subrémon, LATTS (UMR 8134 - CNRS, ENPC, UPEMLV)
  • Jean-Jacques Terrin, teacher and researcher, LéaV, ENSA de Versailles


RAMAU - Ensaplv

144 avenue de Flandre

75019 Paris



  • Elise Macaire (LET-UMR Lavue)

Scientific secretariat

  • Véronique Biau (CRH-UMR Lavue)
  • Michael Fenker (LET-UMR Lavue)

Scientific Council

  • Gilles Debizet (UMR PACTE)
  • Patrice Godier (PAVE)
  • Isabelle Grudet (LET-UMR Lavue)
  • Laure Héland (LET-UMR Lavue)
  • Géraldine Molina (LISST-Cieu)
  • Nadine Roudil (CSTB)
  • Hélène Subrémon (LATTS)
  • Jean-Jacques Terrin (LéaV)


  • Paris, France (75)


  • Monday, June 03, 2013


  • développement durable, urbanisme, architecture, savoirs, modèles, apprentissages


  • Elise Macaire
    courriel : elise [dot] macaire [at] paris-lavillette [dot] archi [dot] fr

Information source

  • Elise Macaire
    courriel : elise [dot] macaire [at] paris-lavillette [dot] archi [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Knowledge and models concerning sustainable town planning and architecture », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, May 07, 2013, https://doi.org/10.58079/ngl

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