The Vesdre Valley: a multidisciplinary strategic scheme

Studio Paola Viganò, an architecture and landscape firm led by Paola Viganò, specializes in the ecological and social transition of cities and territories in Europe. The studio contributes to municipal plans, wins competitions, and coordinates recovery projects, including the Vesdre Valley in Belgium after the 2021 flooding.

An initiative of Studio Paola Viganò

Overview of the project

The objectives of the strategic scheme are to envisage the future of the watershed by 2050 to face floods and the challenges that climate change imposes on us. It also aims to address the future of the watershed in terms of quality of life, biodiversity and living together. The search for opportunities for economic and social redevelopment is also to be integrated to strengthen this territory. The strategic scheme is structured according to 10 points that define the vision and mark the priority strategies to achieve the two fundamental objectives: resilience and solidarity of the watershed. They allow for the organization of a wide range of policies in a non-contradictory but coherent way: around climate change, mitigation, and adaptation (both for floods and drought), but also resilience and economic and social solidarity.
The ecological, social and economic transition is not rhetorical and generic, it is driven by the specific characteristics of the territory: a situation, geography, history, landscapes and cooperation between players. The aim is to implement a major regeneration of built-up areas and open spaces for the entire and open spaces for the entire catchment and its areas (valley, hillsides, plateaux).
The current ambition is the implementation of a “laboratory of transition”, that will support and develop the strategic scheme. This laboratory is also a tool for extending the open and inclusive approach that has been implemented with all the different parties involved. It must be a fundamental tool for ensuring the coherence of actions and revealing possible synergies between them.


A vision for the future of the watershed, towards a "laboratory of transitions".

Level of progress

Published research

Project timeline

01/20/2022 - 12/21/2023

Quantitative results

– Multidisciplinary diagnosis of the territory (sociology, urbanism, landscape, economy, …)
– Walloon Land use plan analysis and recommadations/tools
– Hydraulic and hydrologic studies, simulations

Qualitative results

– Map of the resilience potentialities of the territory
– Development scenarios
– Vision at 2050 horizon composed by 10 key points/strategies
– Strategic scheme map covering all the watershed territory
– Typological explorations
– Proposals in terms of governancy and project management, proposal of a “laboratory of transition”.


The Walloon Region, represented by Mr Willy BORSUS, Minister for the Economy, External Research, Innovation, Digital Innovation, the Digital Economy, Agriculture, Town and Country Planning of the Territory, IFAPME and the Competence Centres

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About the

Studio Paola Viganò

Paola Vigano

Studio Paola Viganò is an architecture, urbanism and landscape firm. Since 2015, Studio, led by Paola Viganò, works on the ecological and social transition of cities, landscapes and territories designing urban and territorial projects and realizing public spaces in Europe.
Today, Studio has also recently won the competition for the realization of the municipal plan (PdCom) of Lugano (Switzerland) and is consultant of the City of Geneva for its municipal plan (PdCom). Studio also contributes to the new agglomeration plan of Great Geneva with the investigation of the Chablais trans-border territory, between France and Switzerland. Studio is finally coordinating the Strategic Scheme for the recovery of the Vesdre Valley (Berlgium) after the flooding catastrophe of 2021.

A project
in collaboration
  • Université de Liège


    Jacques Teller
Other partners / supporters

Consultant : Yellow Window