Emergent forms of Urban densification in Asia – Shared perspectives

13-16 November 2017 (Hanoi Architecture University – Hanoi Vietnam)

Participating to the international conference “Emergent forms of Urban densification in Asia – Shared perspectives”, organized by the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), the
Center of Population and Development (CEPED – IRD/University Paris Descartes) and the Hanoi Architecture University (HAU), Joël Idt (DCUN Coordinator) and Clément Musil (Blog DCUN coordinator) gave a joint presentation to introduce the objectives of the Diffuse Cities & Urbanization Network and its particularities regarding comparative approaches. 

Entitled “Comparing diffuse urbanization processes in different socio-cultural contexts: Asia and Europe – The interdisciplinary approach of the international research network on diffuse cities (Labex Urban Futures – University Paris Est)” this presentation put forward the diversity of terms and concepts developed to describe continual expansion of “the urban” and pointed out the challenge of the urban comparative analysis. They introduced the DCUN themes and the places that the members are investigating for the period 2018-2019. This presentation was the opportunity to promote the network and its activities.


Labex Week (Labex Urban Futures) – Seminar Diffuse Cities Through the Lens of Comparison

15 September 2017 (University Paris-Est campus – Building Bienvenüe – Room A017)

 In the frame of the “Labex Week” sponsored by the Labex Urban Futures this half-day seminar gave to DCUN (Diffuse Cities & Urbanization Network) the opportunity to launch its first seminar activity and to gather more than 20 scholars from other research institutes and laboratories who are interested in the network’s actions and comparative approaches.

This first DCUN seminar laid the groundwork for the construction of research on the diffuse urban territories of Rome, Hanoi and Paris to be conducted by the network individual members and international institutional partners between 2018 and 2019. 

During this event was discussing the main themes that the DCUN will investigate for the next few years: (i) productive activities, (ii) planning & informality, (iii) architectural and urban forms, (iv) digitalization, (v) energy transition.

Few scholars were also invited to introduce the different places that DCUN’s members will investigate (Hanoi, Roma and Paris) with the aim to produce comparative papers.

  • Sylvie Fanchette (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement – IRD) introduced the case of Hanoi (Vietnam). Based on her research work conducting in Hanoi and the results published in the book entitled “Hà Nội, future métropole“, this presentation pointed out the relationship between the inner core city and the rural suburbs and gave a picture of the various drivers of the rapid urbanization that characterized today the Hanoi metropolis area.
  • Hélène Nessi (Laboratoire Architecture, Ville, Urbanisme, Environnement – LAVUE UMR 7218 Paris Nanterre) presented the Roma (Italy) metropolitan area. Based on a historical reading of the development of the metropolitan region of Rome, this talk has highlighted the specificity of the peri-urbanization of this vast territory and the deregulation aspects of urban management. The presentation insisted on the analysis of a phenomena, the “abusivismo”, that led the urban authorities to recognize illegal constructions that occurred during decades.    
  • Nicolas Raimbault (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research – LISER) gave a presentation focused on the logistic activities within the Paris region.The development of new logistical areas in the Paris’ outskirts affect the peri-urbanization process. This presentation highlighted the features of those new logistical areas and pointed out the new distribution and geography of the housing areas where the employees are leaving.

Detailed program of the seminar Diffuse Cities Through the Lens of Comparison (in French)

Villes Diffuses – International Seminar

10-12 April 2017 (University Paris-Est campus – Building Bienvenüe – Room A017)

This international seminar was organized by the Labex “Urban Futures” and Research Departments UMR AUSSER, LATTS, Lab’Urba, in cooperation with the Research Department LESTARI, Universitas Kebangsaan Malaysia and Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS).

This event was the opportunity to bring together, and confront, studies of diffuse urbanization in Europe and Asia. The ambition of this seminar was to produce theoretically informed and theoryinforming comparative empirical knowledge on how these peripheral urban areas and regions develop and transform, how they are practiced and lived, and on the use of resources (land, energy, water…) involved in these processes. Studies of the production and transformation of, and ways of life in, urban environments abound, yet these two issues are usually analyzed separately. Above all, a vast majority of these studies disregards issues of urban form and materiality broadly conceived. Conversely architects, urbanists and geographers have described or advocated variegated land use patterns, built area layouts and building designs, but in these studies, analyses on how built environments are produced and lived generally remain either superficial, oversimplified or normative.

Rational (Download) / Program (Download) / Event page:

Territories of Metropolis: Compactness, Dispersion and Ecology – Comparative perspectives between Asia and Europe

International Roundtable Conference
5-7 April 2016 (Shanghai Study Center, The University of Hong Kong)



Organized in Shanghai jointly by the University of Hong Kong, University Paris-Est and Labex Futurs Urbains, this international conference gathered more than 20 speakers to discuss diffuse urbanization issues.

This conference paved the way to the organization of a series of seminar focused on “Diffuse Cities” and aims to deepen our understanding of the processes and implications of urban dispersion in Asia and Europe, to explore the commonalities and specificities of these processes between the two regions; and to confront successful or failed experiences in territorial planning, governance, policy and management.

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