Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

The architects' vision of the park show the multiple functions productive urban landscapes can have. (source: VWA 2022)

Parc Agro-Urbain Bernex, Switzerland

In 2013, the state of Geneva opened an international competition with an open program brief. The competition asked for proposals that aimed to encourage interaction between the urban population and the agricultural industry, to offer a new ‘vision of the relationship between city and the farmed territory’ and to be a model of a response to ‘the needs of the population by ensuring the green surroundings … are maintained for the good of all’.

Architects' aerial drawing of the farm alongside the city landscape (source: VWA 2022)

The park is situated on the edge of the city. (image: VWA 2022)

The competition was opened as a result of urbanisation plans for 16,000 new residents of Geneva, but when implementing those, local farmers would lose 114 hectares of land. The creation of an urban agricultural park was decided upon as a way of compensating by allowing the farmers to promote their produce.  The area designated for the agricultural park is between the Bernex P+R and the Chemin des Tacons and is over 8 hectares.

Sectional image of the treeline creating a natural barrier between the park's open spaces and the busy road (source: VWA 2022)

The treeline will be placed as a natural barrier between the park’s open spaces and the busy road. (image: VWA 2022)

Verzone Wood Architects (VWA) won the competition with their proposal which includes agricultural fields and a public meadow, a farm, a playground, an area with 200 trees newly planted, and paths throughout for visitors to engage with the agricultural lands through leisurely activities such as walking, running or cycling. The farm will include an orchard and vegetable patches and will host a market offering produce from the park and GRTA products from farmers in the surrounding area. The park, when completed, will be easily accessed from the city by a tramline. City dwellers will be able to dine in the restaurant on site before making purchases in the market or continuing with their day amongst the fields.

Architect's drawing of a recreational space in the park with people lounging and a productive space in the background with paths running through. (source: VWA 2022)

The park will be a place for exercising and relaxing amongst nature, as well as a source of sustainably-grown fresh food. (source: VWA 2022)

The Bernex et Confignon Agro-Urban Park, once open, will operate as a productive urban landscape integrating public activity and agricultural practise. For many years, Bohn&Viljoen have collaborated with Verzone Wood Architects on research and design projects.


For further information see the local council’s website.

For information on Verzone Wood Architect’s project proposal see here.

For updates on the Bernex et Confignon Agro-Urban Park see our news posts.

Image: The park will be a place for multiple functions and uses, growing produce and being an attractive space for families and visitors to be. (source: VWA 2022)


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* circular cities* green infrastructure* landscape* urban agricultureSwitzerland

Jasmine Cook • 1st May 2017

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  1. George Horvath 25th January 2024 - 05:55 Reply

    the steering committee of farmers for the agro-urban park in Bern asked for the deletion of one planned element, what was it?

    • Katrin Bohn 25th January 2024 - 22:10 Reply

      Dear George, I do not understand what you mean? Could you explain, please?

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