The Riponne-Tunnel Weekend 8-9-10 March

Workshop & Forum

3 days, 4 nights, 2 public squares

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The 3 day Workshop

Open to all, the workshop provides an opportunity to understand and explore more deeply the local context, the places, the activities, the people over 3 days. As a participant, you will be organised in teams of 5 to 10 people, each team, accompanied by remarkable facilitators, will focus on a specific theme during the weekend.


Teams will immerse themselves in the local fabric, working from local cafe bars, public buildings, and public spaces, interacting as much as possible with the public to understand Lausanne and Riponne-Tunnel through the eyes of its users. Making sense and links between all these different perspectives will create the right conditions for new knowledge and ideas to emerge. Throughout the three days, you will contribute to a collective public exhibition showcasing your reflections, exchanges, and ideas in whatever medium you chose to represent them (sketch, audio, photo, video, text, performance....).

Opening ceremony 7 March from 18h

Workshop 8-9-10 March from 9h to 18h, Aperos from 18h.

A big open weekend to interact, reflect, exchange, occupy, co-create, share and ideate on the past, present and future of two major public squares in the City of Lausanne. 

A weekend about place-making, public space and democracy

The city of Lausanne is rethinking two of its major public squares, Place de la Riponne and Place du Tunnel. Together they constitute the largest public space in the city. The city planning office has launched one of the largest civic participatory processes in its history to co-create a vision that will guide the redevelopment of these public places. urbz, specialists in participatory urbanism, and ville en tête, specialists in public capacity building, have been commissioned to design, implement the process.


The two squares have been negatively portrayed by the media and suffer from a bad public image. Yet, their reality is complex and manifold. The potential that their redesign represents can hardly be overemphasised. This is mainly due to their central location, size, and the diversity of the people that use them on a daily basis. The participatory process represents a unique opportunity to reimagine a central part of the metropolitan area of Lausanne and rethink the role and nature of public spaces in the 21st century.


Switzerland is renowned the world over for its political decentralisation, considered to be the most advanced model of participatory democracy in the modern era. The big weekend in March draws from this political spirit and will be a key creative moment where people from different cultures and backgrounds come together ​to reflect, interact, exchange and ideate.


We are making a call to participation from citizens, businesses, artists, historians, designers, urbanists, architects, environmentalists, sociologists, anthropologists... In fact, it doesn't matter your experience or background. If you love Lausanne, love cities or love people, you will have a lot to contribute. Have your say! 

The Forum

An open forum will be a constant feature of the weekend. Taking place in and around public spaces and the Romandie, a disused former cinema (once the largest in Switzerland), the forum is open to everyone, registration not required. It will be another way for the public to participate in the process throughout the weekend via specific events, activities and exchanges.


There will be something for all ages. Historical guided tours, experimentations in public space, play spaces, workshops for kids and families, exhibitions, performances, a soup kitchen and much more. It is also intergenerational so please come with your family and friends. Explore the past, present and future of these places together with the people that live and frequent them. Share your thoughts and ideas.


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Accompanying the weekend and continuing throughout March will be a retrospective exhibition on display 24/7 in the public spaces of Riponne-Tunnel. This exhibition is curated from a historical study especially commissioned for the participatory process. 500 plans, drawings, engravings, photographs and technical documents were collected to retrace two centuries of Riponne-Tunnel's urban development. Including projects that never saw the light of day, the exhibition is an opportunity to better understand identity and how the places of Riponne-Tunnel have evolved over time.

A window to the past to understand the present and rethink the future