Paris Region 2024 France Paris-Cergy workshops

Inhabit! Cohabit! Reinhabit!

Metamorphosis of habitat in response to the ecological and social emergency
  • Cohabit, inhabit the city - Zollstrasse / Archigrab
  • Housing more permeable to the metropolis public space - generated with ai

The facts are clear: our planet is not inhabited in a sustainable way. To prove it, planetary limits identify the thresholds beyond which the Earth's natural balances could be destabilized and living conditions become unfavorable to humanity. With six out of nine limits crossed, the planet is now well beyond the safe operating space for humanity.

It is therefore vital to change the way we live collectively, in a way that is more respectful of living organisms, soils and water... The Paris region, like other major cities, is faced with major challenges: combating climate change and the collapse of biodiversity requires profound action on urban metabolism, transforming our modes of transport, and significantly slowing down the artificialization of our soils. A profound metamorphosis of our territories must take place without increasing the city's footprint, by building “the city on the city”.

At the same time, the inhabitants of the Île-de-France region are facing a particularly acute housing crisis. The housing supply is very inadequate, contributing to high rents and purchase prices. Against this backdrop, the Paris Region needs to provide more and better housing, while at the same time protecting the land from artificial development. Faced with this paradox, we need to reinvent the way we live in the world. The challenge is great: we must rethink our relationship with others.

What do our experiences and imaginations have in common: a square, a street, a neighborhood, a park or an inhabited house? These are places full of life, use, appropriation and care, where everyday, human-scale, handmade objects live side by side, which can be used alone or collectively, and which make us want to stop there, so much so that their hospitality and the care that the inhabitants give them envelops, reassures and attracts us.

On the other hand, there are many sterile, deserted, inert urban spaces: areas of environmental nuisance, inactive first floors, areas that are only alive at certain times of the day or week (shopping zones, business parks, dormitory districts)...

The international workshop “Inhabit! Cohabit! Reinhabit! ” invites students and young professionals from all over the world to reflect on and propose solutions to these key issues:

How can we re-inhabit, i.e. intensify human and non-human life, in a variety of territories: a large housing estate, a suburban housing development, a business park...? 

How can we improve the qualities of living on the scale of a dwelling, a shared building, a plot, a block, a neighborhood, a bioregion?

How can we involve residents in these future transformations?

How can we share social bonds and common goods on a daily basis, giving people a sense of belonging to a wider community?

The workshop proposes to work on several scales (the region, the city, the district, the neighborhood...), and more specifically on the territory of Cergy-Pontoise, where the participants live and work. Cergy-Pontoise is a new town built in the 1970s at the instigation of the French government, in order to control the rapid urbanization of the Paris region by creating urban hubs on the outskirts of the city. The new town of Cergy is marked by a number of innovative urban planning principles and architectural diversity, and draws on the area's singular geography: the Oise River forms a loop and a natural amphitheater before flowing into the Seine.

As a result, the farming villages have seen their population increase tenfold and their appearance change drastically over the last fifty years. Today, these areas continue to be transformed: communes are developing new centers and changing lifestyles, planning to contain expansion and reconsidering the experimental neighborhoods they have inherited.

How can this pioneering territory evolve and welcome innovative ways of living, reconciling respect for the living environment and the well-being of its inhabitants?

The 42nd Cergy-Pontoise International Urban Workshop follows on from the 2023 workshop “Metamorphosis: Recomposing cities and territories in the face of the climate challenge”, at which participants were invited to work on land artificialisation and desirable density.

The workshop will take place over a two-week period in the Paris Region. After several days of visits and conferences, participants will work in teams to come up with innovative, illustrated collective proposals. These will be presented to an international jury at the end of the two-week workshop.

Apply now via the online application form, and take part in this exceptional collective effort!


The workshop is open to young professionals of all nationalities and disciplines, and to students of at least Master's level, from all disciplines (urban planning, sociology, arts, economics, agronomy, engineering, architecture, history, architecture, landscape, etc.) and of all nationalities.

How to apply
To apply, please prepare :
- a one- or two-page CV
- a personal work or an extract from a personal work (max 6 pages), related to the subject of the workshop and/or your home territory. This work is free-form and can include illustrations, photos and other graphic productions.
- a presentation of yourself in 80 words

Then complete the online form (alternative link), attaching your CV and personal work.

Conditions of participation
Application is free of charge. The workshop fee (including association membership) is 150 euros and includes accommodation for the duration of the workshop in Cergy-Pontoise, regional transport and organized visits, group meals, lectures and drawing materials.


from Sept. 22, 2024
to Oct. 4, 2024

The workshop will take place in Cergy-Pontoise from September 22 to October 04, 2024.

EXTENSION: Applications are open until July 14, 2024.

Additional documents will be published as the workshop preparation progresses.


Bénedicte Delataulade, Sociologist
Valérie Helman, Lecturer in architecture and landscape studies

Workshop team :
Véronique Valenzuela, Geographer, Project Director
Simon Brochard, Geographer, Project Coordinator
Victoire Bayle, Management and Communication
Pauline Simone, Architect, Pilot Assistant
Marilou Zapata, Urban planner and jurist, Intern

workshop's partners