Development plan for a new town: Songon


Songon, Cote d’Ivoire


Town of Songon


Ateliers 2/3/4/ (architect + urban planner + landscape designer) - Cabinet ACA (architect) - Strategy SA (Strategy and development consulting) - Ateliers 2/3/4/ - Franck Boutté Consultants - Alphaville

Nature of the project

Master Plan, Tertiary, Research, Mixed-use, Mobility, Education, Commerce, Culture, Public equipment, Espaces Publics, Landscape design, Residential


Preliminary research prior to implementation of a development plan for a new town on the outskirts of Abidjan.


15th International Architecture Biennale of Venice Ivory Coast Pavilion: City of Songon studies presentation.




Studies 2016

Preliminary research prior to implementation of a development plan for a new town on the outskirts of Abidjan.
In response to urgent needs and in order to formalize the terms for a theoretical approach, a partnership was set up with the Paris Val-de-Seine School of Architecture and urban planning and sustainable specialists.
The plan herewith gives an initial view of the future development established from five procedures associated with the precise understanding of specific regional and socio-cultural organizations within Ivory Coast; in particular, through a co-operative process that involves residents in the development their own area.


1 / The meaning Of territory
The city is built around the natural elements that run through it: watercourses, reliefs, wind corridors, planted parkways. Respect for this heritage is the basis of a permanent framework for future development.

In Songon, the city steps back from the lagoon shore in order to protect it. Wide linear landscaped areas form multi-use parkways that, at the same time, structure the hydraulics of the city and facilitate food crop cultivation.

2 / Identity
A city becomes recognizable from the common elements that it repeats. The neighbourhood organized around a religious building, a school, a market is the « brick » that when multipied will compose the city.

The bricks reproduce as « typical » the original village model to compose the city of Songon. Each brick is formed by a road that unites the interior and turns its boundary towards the city:
businesses, shops and apartments at the edge the brick line the avenues in contact with the major arteries – neighbourhood facilities connected to the landscaped parkways – public facilities and local businesses in proximity to the centre of each brick.

3 / Major arteries
The major networks, avenues, boulevards, esplanades accommodate the major facilities and facilitates the understanding of the city. In addition to movement, they determine continuities, the form of the city, its behaviour and its ability to grow.

In Songon two types of parkways are developed that cross stich the city: from east to west, they link the extensions of existing villages and establish a link with the Grand Abidjan; and from north to south, they establish an important link between each existing village and their extensions.

4 / Outskirts and limits
To think of the city in terms of fixed points or areas requires the definition of the correct limits whether residential units, the neighbourhood, poles or land reserves.

At the neighbourhood scale, for Songon the right measure will relate to the specificity of the new « gated community » housing form. Rather than reject them, the urban fabric should take advantage of their enclosure.

5 / Media places
Streets and places are two types of media places that compose public space. Through them urban encounters likely to forge links between the ranking of the neighbourhood, the district, the city and the region are developed.

In Songon in addition to the traditional roads and squares, depending on its relationship to the lagoon, each village extension is part of an important community programme: to the north, the university; to the east, the administration centre; to the west, the business district; and to the south, the cultural centre.