Education / Research

Workshop atelier/terrain 2014 Binzhou (China)

WAT_UNESCO Binzhou 2014 was the 9th edition of this internatinoal intensive urban design workshop. It was organised by the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design in collaboration with Shandong Jianzhu University and the City of Binzhou (China). It was held form May 17 to 24 2014 in the City of Binzhou (Shandong Province, China).



Located in the Shandong province, on the northern bank of the Yellow River, the City of Binzhou is undergoing constant changes. Binzhou, which was known as an agricultural area over a decade ago, has now become a city of over 3 million inhabitants. This expansion can be explained by the impetus of the opening provided by the Economic Development Zone in the early 2000s as well as the discovery of the Shengli oilfield which represents the second largest one in China. To address issues of rapid urban expansion, the City of Binzhou aims to create a new urbanized area, west of the current city, which could accommodate 35 000 inhabitants in an area of approximately 4,4 km2.

The project is an ambitious one in the scope of the proposed plan. According to the Binzhou City Economic Development Zone management committee, the new district’s plan should include large residential and commercial areas, public services, parks and green spaces for recreational purposes as well as transportation facilities and municipal infrastructures.

The project is also ambitious when it comes to the social aspirations and expectations that it carries. It is hoped that this new district becomes exemplary in terms of community life, quality of the environment and quality and variety of services and functions contributing to the urban life. More generally, the expansion of Binzhou’s Economic Development Zone should become a unique place in the entire North of China based on the promotion of a harmonious living environment between people and nature.


WAT_UNESCO Binzhou 2014

The challenges facing a project of this magnitude should be contextualized within the rapid development of Chinese cities. As such, for three decades, Chinese cities have been undergoing extensive real estate development projects for accommodating a growing population. As being numerous as they are, these city fragments built from scratch are quite similar from one to another as they are mostly lined up with residential blocks and towers. In this context, how are we to offer a sustainable living environment that also represents a strong and distinctive urban identity?

Therefore, the WAT_UNESCO of Binzhou 2014 will be held under the theme: “New neighborhood: Identity, Territory and Sustainability”.

This work topic aims to produce strategic visions designed to provide meaning to the urban territory which will transcend the iconic character of the proposed urban spaces and buildings.

The reflection towards the meaning of the new neighborhood aims to further define its local integration, that is, to implement the neighborhood with respect to its existing environment while allowing for its own identity construction. As such, some features of the proposed site will be considered as a potential or a constraint. These include:

  • Hydrography: The city of Binzhou’s hydrography has strong impacts on the landscape, first with the presence of the Yellow River from which it is protected by a linear dyke road and second by the presence of many rivers and lakes. The intervention site itself is currently spanned with canals and farm ditches. In addition, immediately north of the intervention site, an important drinking water reservoir is a strong feature of the local landscape. What role can the hydrological system play in the urban planning project?
  • Topography: The intervention site lies in a vast plain which does not offer particular view. In fact, the view meets constantly with the horizon. Only a few rare windbreaks help structure visual frames.
  • Oil extraction: The oilfield is visible everywhere in City of Binzhou through the insertion of oil wells in the landscape. Rather than being isolated from the community life, the wells are integrated into a variety of public spaces. On the intervention site, several wells are inserted in the landscape and recall the importance of the economic activity for the region. What is the future of these wells in a forthcoming urban development?
  • Rural villages: The extension of Chinese cities is often substantiated by the demolition of rural villages. Such a village is currently bordering the intervention site. What is the future of the rural environment in the urbanization project? What are the values invested towards the rural life and towards its presence, expression and evocation? 
  • De-centralization: the intervention site is located several kilometers from the center of Binzhou. The only existing hint of urbanization is its connection with a major arterial road. Thus, the geographic location of the future neighborhood implies the making of a new centrality. What would its structuring role be in regards to the development of the city of Binzhou?

Under these themes and questions, the WAT_UNESCO Binzhou will gather 28 students of varied origin (Belgium, Canada, China, France and Italy) and 6 professors to develop 7 strategic planning visions of the Economic Development Zone of Binzhou. These visions will express in their own way, aspect of the anticipated development.

By promoting an intercultural dialogue between Chinese, European and Canadian participants, the development visions resulting from the WAT_UNESCO will offer a myriad of outlooks which will be inspired by the best Western and Eastern planning practices.

All together, the 7 different visions will not represent alternative and competing propositions but rather an ‘atlas of possibilities’ which will allow constructing a planning framework for the Economic Development Zone of Binzhou.





WAT_UNESCO BINZHOU 2014 brought together 28 students and 6 teachers from the following Universities:

  • Université de Montréal, Faculty of environmental design – Montréal (Canada) – 5 students
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, Faculté d’architecture La Cambre-Horta – Brussels (Belgium) – 4 students
  • University of Rome – La Sapienza, Departement of Architecture and design – Rome (Italy) – 4 students
  • École spéciale d’architecture de Paris – Paris (France) – 4 students
  • Shandong Jianzhu University, School of Architecture and Urbanism – Jinan (China) – 11 students


7 visions of environmental design


Léone DREW (Université Libre de Belgique), Jean-Philippe DI MARCO (Université de Montréal), Joyce AZZAM (Université de Rome – La Sapienza), Li JING (Université Shandong Jianzu).

[Poster 1] [Poster 2]


Tifenn TAILLANDIER (Université Libre de Belgique), Lorenzo CELLINI (Université de Rome – La Sapienza), Marilène BLAIN-SABOURIN (Université de Montréal), Zhang Qiayoang (Université Shandong Jianzu).<

[Poster 1] [Poster 2]


Gabriel VIOLLEAU (Université Libre de Belgique), Fanny B. PERRAS (Université de Montréal), Pierre CHASTEL (École spéciale d’architecture de Paris), Yu CHENGLONG (Université Shandong Jianzu)

 [Poster 1] [Poster 2]


Cyndelle RENNESON (Université Libre de Belgique), Martin TANGUAY (Université de Montréal), Chi Miao MIAO (Université Shandong Jianzu), Yang XIDONG (Université Shandong Jianzu)

[Poster 1] [Poster 2]


Raed RADWAN (École spéciale d’architecture de Paris), Gianluca SANGUINI (Université de Rome – La Sapienza), Zhou YUCHAN (Université Shandong Jianzu), Shi MENG (Université Shandong Jianzu).

[Poster 1] [Poster 2]


Lynda ZEIN (École spéciale d’architecture de Paris), Margherita SALVINI (Université de Rome – La Sapienza), Duan PEI PEI (Université Shandong Jianzu), Zhang YU (Université Shandong Jianzu).

[Poster 1] [Poster 2]


Raabal RADWAN (École spéciale d’architecture de Paris), Alexie BAILLARGEON (Université de Montréal), Wang YAO (Université Shandong Jianzu), Zhang MENGYUAN (Université Shandong Jianzu).

[Poster 1] [Poster 2]



  • 1er prix - Médaille UNESCO Cinq Continents

Titre du projet: Centralité riveraine

Team :

Pierre Chastel, École spéciale d’architecture de Paris

Yu Chenglong, Shandong Jianzu University

Fanny B. Perras, Université de Montréal

Gabriel Violleau, Université Libre de Belgique

  • 2e prix  (ex aequo) : Nature urbaine

Team :

Alexie Baillargeon, Université de Montréal

Zhang Mengyuan, Shandong Jianzu University

Raabal Radwan, École spéciale d’architecture de Paris

Wang Yao, Shandong Jianzu University

  • 2e prix  (ex aequo) : Agro/urbanité

Team :

Chi Miao Miao, Shandong Jianzu University

Cyndelle Renneson, Université Libre de Belgique

Martin Tanguay, Université de Montréal

Yang Xidong, Shandong Jianzu University



  • Direction 
  • Comité pédagogique et scientifique
    • Alessandra Capuano, Université de Rome La Sapienza (Italie)
    • Patrick Neirinck, Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgique)
    • Marlène Ghorayeb, École spéciale d’architecture de Paris (France)
    • Zhao Liang, Shandong Jianzhu University
    • Yvonne Wang, Shandong Jianzhu University
    • Patrick Marmen, Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement de l'Université de Montréal
    • Sylvain Paquette, Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement de l'Université de Montréal
  • Comité de coordination
    • Patrick Marmen, Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement de l'Université de Montréal
    • Jiashui Yan, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Jingang, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Wang Jingwen, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Lyu Chunyong, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Shi Fanglan, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Cheng Sijie, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Sun Yinghie, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Lingyun Zhang, Shandong Economic University
    • Li Xiao, Shandong Jianzhu University
    • Zhao Jilong, Shandong Jianzhu University
    • Tong Hui, Shandong Jianzhu University
  • Équipe de soutien
    • Valérie Gravel, Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement de l'Université de Montréal
    • Rachel Bonin, Chaire UNESCO en paysage et environnement de l'Université de Montréal
    • Shi Tao, Shandong Jianzhu University
  • Partenaires
    • Yao Hemin, Zone de développement économique et technologique de Binzhou
    • Yu Bingwen, Ministère de l’Éducation de la Province du Shandong
    • Maude-Andrée Lefebvre, Bureau du Québec à Beijing, Ministère des Relations internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extérieur du Québec
    • Catherine Zhang, Bureau du Québec à Beijing, Ministère des Relations internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extérieur du Québec