Jérôme Chenal

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Jérôme Chenal
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Born(1973-09-09)September 9, 1973
Porrentruy, Switzerland
EducationEPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
Scientific career
  • Urban planning
  • Urban management
  • African Cities
InstitutionsEPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
ThesisUrbanisation (2009)

Jérôme Chenal (born (1973-09-09)September 9, 1973 in Porrentruy, Switzerland), is a Swiss architect and Urban studies specialized in African cities.[1]


Jérôme Chenal graduated with a diploma in architecture from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 1997. After a short interlude in the private sector, he pursued a PhD at the Laboratory of Urabn Sociology (LaSUR) at EPFL, focusing on questions related to urban planning in African cities and defending his thesis in 2008.[2] He then moved to the University College London as a postdoctoral researcher within the Development Planning Unit, where he focused on cities such as Dakar and Bangalore.[3] In 2014, he was appointed director of the Urban and Regional Planning Community (CEAT) at EPFL, where he also heads the Center for Excellence in Africa since 2019. Jérôme Chenal currently holds an associate professor position at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco.[4]

Professional activities

Jérôme Chenal is the director of the Urban and Regional Planning Community (CEAT) and of the Center for Excellence in Africa (EXAF) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.[5][6] Within the CEAT, his research team aims to understand the construction mechanisms of urban peripheries in sub-Saharan Africa and Switzerland and questions pertaining to problematics such as urban density, the future of rural territories, the relationship between urban planning and public health or the construction of urban peripheries.[7]

Jérôme Chenal is the author of an online course (Massive open online course) in French entitled 'Villes africaines: Introduction à la planification urbaine' (African Cities: Introduction to Urban Planning)[8] and since 2017 he has been publishing columns for French newspaper 'Le Monde' in which he discusses the fundamental issues of urban planning in Africa and proposes, on the basis of specific examples, possible solutions.[9][10]

Since 2017, he has been publishing a ranking measuring the quality of life in the 100 largest African cities through the statistical analysis of more than one hundred indicators, seeking to capture the city dweller's point of view as best as possible.[11]

He has frequently appeared in national and international media as an expert in topics related to urban planning and african cities.[12][13][14][15]


Jérôme Chenal is an elected member of several steering committees and boards:

  • Member of the SIA (Society of Swiss Engineers and Architects)
  • Committee member of the FSU (Federation of Swiss Town Planners), French-speaking section[16]
  • Member of the scientific committee of the CSRS (Swiss Center for Scientific Research in Abidjan)
  • Member of the scientific committee of the AUF (Agence universitaire de la francophonie)
  • Member of the Regional Commission of Experts for the AUF (Agence Universitaire Francophone), Western Europe, since 2018
  • Director of the Certificate of Open Studies (COS) Management and Planning of African Cities, since 2017
  • Co-director of the MAS (Master of Advanced Studies) in Urban Planning, joint training program of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the University of Geneva since 2017[17]
  • Responsible for the CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) 'Urban and Spatial Planning Project', joint training program of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the University of Geneva with Géraldine Pflieger, since 2017[18]
  • In charge of the CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) 'Operational urban planning and urban operators', joint training program of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne|EPFL and the University of Geneva with Laurent Matthey, since 2017[19]

Selected publications

  • J. Chenal. La ville ouest-africaine. Modèles de planification de l'espace urbain. MétisPresses, Genève, 978-2-940406-18-0, vuesDensemble, 2013.
  • J. Chenal. The west african city. Urban space and models of urban planning. EPFL Press, Lausanne, 2014.
  • J. Chenal, Y. Pedrazzini. «Tentative Classification of Various Slum Types», in Learning from the Slums for the Development of Emerging Cities, p. 31-41, GeoJournal Library 119, 2016.
  • J. Chenal. «Ville dense ou ville diffuse ? Quel avenir pour les périphéries des villes du sud ?» in Villes en développement, num. 102, p. 2-3, 2016.
  • I. Diagana, J. Chenal and S. Hasler. Villes africaines : restructuration des quartiers précaires. EPFL Press, Lausanne, 978-2-88914-401-3, BOOCs EPFL, 2016.
  • Yemadji, J. Chenal, S. Hasler and A. F. Kemajou Mbianda. Villes africaines: Environnement et enjeux de développement durable. EPFL Press, Lausanne, 978-2-88914-429-7, BOOCs EPFL, 2017.
  • P. Sakho, J. Chenal and A. F. Kemajou Mbianda. Villes africaines: mobilités et transports urbains. EPFL Press, Lausanne, 978-2-88914-431-0, BOOCs EPFL, 2017
  • J. Chenal. Architecture et ville contemporaine en Afrique. Africa Big Change/Big Chance, Centre international pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage (CIVA), Bruxelles, February 2, 2015.
  • J.-C. Bolay, Y. Pedrazzini and J. Chenal. Learning from the Slums, Learning for the Slums in Learning from the Slums for the Development of Emerging Cities, p. 239-247, GeoJournal Library 119, 2016.
  • J. Chenal, Y. Pedrazzini, G. Cisse and V. Kaufmann (Eds.). Quelques rues d'Afrique. Observation et gestion de l'espace public à Abidjan, Dakar et Nouakchott. Les éditions du Lasur, Lausanne, 978-2-9700357-6-3, 2009.


  1. "Jérôme Chenal's page at EPFL". Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  2. "Thèse Jérôme Chenal" (in français).
  3. "Jerome Chenal | University College London - Academia.edu". ucl.academia.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  4. "School of Architecture, Planning & Design | University Mohammed VI Polytechnic". www.um6p.ma. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  5. "Urban and regional planning community CEAT - EPFL". www.epfl.ch. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  6. "EXAF, a dynamic research centre - EPFL". www.epfl.ch. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  7. "Research projects". www.epfl.ch. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  8. "Villes africaines I: Introduction à la planification urbaine". Coursera. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  9. "De l'art camerounais de construire cinq ponts au même endroit". Le Monde.fr (in français). 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  10. "Et la Chine inventa l'étalement urbain en Afrique, grâce aux motos-taxis". Le Monde.fr (in français). 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  11. "Invité Afrique - Villes africaines: Dakar et Brazzaville, «un terreau favorable», pour J. Chenal". RFI (in français). 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  12. Ecofin, Agence. "« La ville intelligente existe déjà en Afrique depuis longtemps, il suffit d'ouvrir les yeux pour la voir » (Jérôme Chenal)". Agence Ecofin (in français). Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  13. "« On essaie de vendre aux Africains un concept de ville élaboré dans les conférences internationales »". Le Monde.fr (in français). 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  14. "Urbanisation : « En Afrique de l'Ouest, nous disposons d'un champ d'expérimentation énorme » – Jeune Afrique". JeuneAfrique.com (in français). 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  15. "Jérôme Chenal on Avis d'experts". avisdexperts.ch. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  16. "Comité – Fédération Suisse des Urbanistes / Section romande" (in français). Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  17. "cas information géographique en urbanisme epfl - unige". sia | schweizerischer ingenieur- und architektenverein. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  18. "CAS - Projet d'urbanisme et planification spatiale". www.unige.ch (in français). 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  19. "CAS - Urbanisme opérationnel et opérateurs urbains". www.unige.ch (in français). 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2021-01-28.

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