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Basel: Small City - Global City | Fall 2011

  • Basel Switzerland (map)

International Conference and Chapter Meeting

Small City – Global City | 13-16 October 2011

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Basel is a small town with world-class contemporary architecture. Together with its tri-national metropolitan area, it is home to a number of buildings designed by some of the most influential architects practicing today. 

It is also a town facing new challenges of growth. As the city is pressed to grow within and across its industrial and political borders to France and Germany, it has begun to enlist leading thinkers, planners, and architects to envision bold new ideas for its urban development. 

At this 3–1/2–day conference of site visits, lectures and tours, participants will see the headquarters of Basel-based companies Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Vitra who are working with an array of renowned architects like Herzog & de MeuronSANAAFrank Gehry, and David Chipperfield to transform their sites of industrial production into global campuses of research and innovation. 

Conference participants will visit Basel’s industrial Rhein harbor, where the three countries meet, to learn about the new harbor vision designed by Dutch firm MDRDV. Presentations by city leaders and planners of Basel, and neighboring France and Germany, will highlight ways in which the region is working cooperatively to find sustainable solutions to the challenges and opportunities of their tri-national area. 

Basel illuminates how a small city responds to the demands of fragmented borders and the global workplace. Through the particulars of this unique city-region, the conference addresses the wider themes of architecture and urban planning in our increasingly interconnected world. 

Conference Chairs, Suzanne Marhefka, AIA & Tiffany Melancon, Assoc. AIA


Conference attendees are responsible for booking accommodations. A list of suggested hotels has been assembled by the conference organisers. Basel also has a very active Airbnb community

Conference Costs






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