Information about the participant


La Fabrique de la Cité, Atos, the Science Centre of Singapore and the French Embassy are pleased to invite you at their special workshop: 

"Planning public and open spaces in a vertical city: an international comparison"

Wednesday November 13th, 2019 - from 6pm to 8pm (doors opening at 5:30pm)

Science Centre of Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 60908


Because of land and resource scarcity as well as Anthropocene-induced climate change, cities have been verticalizing, adding a third dimension to urban sprawl. The “vertical sprawl” that results from this paradigm shift must be considered in two opposite directions: from the ground to the sky, and underground, into the deep layers of the earth.

Both urban canopies and underground environments have led urban makers to completely rethink the way they conceive of life in cities, especially in public spaces that are no longer physically “open” due to structural and building constraints. How can urban makers meet the need for public spaces expressed by inhabitants and citizens in vertical cities and closed built environments? How can they vertically and functionally connect different layers of public spaces, while ensuring a similar experience or, at least, avoiding a feeling of discontinuity?

As a French think tank supported by the VINCI group and specialized in the field of urban studies, La Fabrique de la Cité aims to introduce its study about public spaces in vertical cities in an international approach, questioning cultural and technological differences in urban design.

Key words: Public space, open space, vertical city, underground, canopies, planning, Anthropocene.



  • The three characteristics of public spaces are: to be accessible, open, and free. Furthermore, in Europe, public spaces are the expression of the political dimension of cities and citizenship. How can urban makers ensure the “public” dimension of public spaces in a closed and not directly accessible environment (an environment accessible through technology, like elevators)?
  • Public spaces in vertical cities are the result of technical changes that generate new characteristics (closed environment, disconnection from the ground floor, accessibility mediated by technology, security regulations…): do those new characteristics change the deep meaning of public spaces, beyond their design?
  • Because of their disconnection from the ground level, public spaces in vertical cities are no longer thoroughfare, but rather a destination in themselves. Does this restriction change the “public” dimension of those public spaces?



5:30-6:00pm - Doors opening.

6:00-6:10pm - Welcome speeches by officials

6:10-6:15pm - Introduction

6:15-6:55 - Presentations of Andrea Cassi, Rhoda Dinesen, Limin Hee and Charu Kokate.

6:55-7:20 - Discussion and debate

7:20-7:40 - Questions from the audience

7:40-8:00 - Buffet


  • Andrea CASSI, partner, Carlo Ratti Assicoati.
  • Uli BRAUN, CTO, Atos AsiaPacific.
  • Limin HEE, Director, Center for Liveable Cities.
  • Charu KOKATE, principal, Safdie Architects.

The session will be chaired by Raphaël Languillon, senior research manager at La Fabrique de la Cité.