CANactions: How do you see your main professional mission?
Philippe: I am not an architect, I am an urban planner with a sociological background. I work on urban design projects in the team with architects. My mission is, in general, to design programs and strategies to activate urban life in developing аreas with a focus on the important per groups for urban change.
How could you define the specific of Swiss urban planning?
Swiss planning is dominated by a mentality of local autonomy and a high level of participation in planning processes. That makes it difficult to plan big scale projects. The political territories of the cities are quite small and their autonomy quite high. Because of the permanent danger of referendum by the citizens against urban projects we have a high level of participation of the people in planning processes. This is very expensive and wastes a lot of time. In practice, there is one positive aspect. We don't make mistakes as big as other countries. But we also don't take any risks. That makes it a little boring. But in general, I observe a lack of planning culture and self-reflection.
What single words would you use to describe your projects?
My work consists in the creation of physical, economic or social frames to make it possible, that those groups, that are important for sustainable and dynamic development, may realize their creative ideas.