CERN's new urban plan looks to the future

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 R. Bello, M. Capeans    29-06-2022     Leggi in PDF

CERN's urban landscape is changing. From the Laboratory's new flagship project for science education and outreach Science Gateway, to new and newly-refurbished buildings and a growing network of cycle paths, change is all around. CERN has grown organically over the decades into the laboratory we know today, and it continues to evolve in response to the needs of the physics community it serves.

CERN has recently released its second Masterplan looking forward to 2040 and reflecting the goals set out in the 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, which has been adopted by the CERN Council. The Masterplan is an important tool in enabling us to understand the practical consequences on the ground, and manage development in a responsible and sustainable way. Given the ambition and diversity of CERN's possible future projects, the CERN Masterplan 2040 includes potential development outside the currently fenced area of the Laboratory.

The Masterplan 2040 is a global document, describing many possible paths for CERN, but unfolds a consistent strategy to ensure optimal and coherent site development around four inter-related challenges:

– planning of the development of CERN's infrastructures;
– provision of efficient transport and mobility services and infrastructures;
– continued development of the environmental and energy-management policy, taking into account CERN Environmental Reports and the evolution of energy transition policies;
– integration of CERN's infrastructures into the surrounding landscape and enhancing the quality of developments on and outside the sites, taking into account new challenges relating to integration on the territorial and local scales, as well as climate issues, an area where public policies have evolved considerably.

The Masterplan sets out concrete aims and measures that these are then translated indicatively or spatially into development projects. The resulting plan provides guidance for future activities while being sufficiently flexible to be adapted to the context and to projects as and when they are implemented, particularly when there are specific constraints concerning the existing technical infrastructures in surface and underground. The challenge for the Masterplan therefore lies in its ability to be sufficiently flexible to allow room for manoeuvre in the development of CERN, while guaranteeing overall coherence and the proper functioning of the sites in harmony with the urban, agricultural and natural areas in which the Organization is integrated.

The Masterplan 2040 will hopefully enable CERN to fulfil its objective of developing its scientific facilities and welcome more scientists and visitors in the future, while ensuring that its plans are integrated in the landscape of the host territory and contribute to environmental protection, ensuring that whatever CERN’s future holds, the Laboratory will develop in a sustainable way.

Raphaël Bello – Following his studies at the ESSEC Business School, the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris and the École Nationale d'Administration, he held several positions in the French civil service, in the Ministry for the Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is CERN's Director for Finance and Human Resources since January 2021.

Mar Capeans – Senior Scientist at CERN, she holds a PhD in Particle Physics from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and an MBA in Management of Technology from the EPFL and the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). She joined CERN in 1992 and has participated in the design and construction of particle detectors for experiments at CERN. In 2021 she is appointed Head of the Site and Civil Engineering Department.