Ecological planning benchmark for the City of Zurich

Ecologically valuable habitats are being lost at an increasing rate in the wake of urban densification. This has made it necessary to protect and reestablish ecological assets in the context of urban development. Working together with Grün Stadt Zürich (Green City Zurich), EBP has explored the various options available to the city of Zurich.

The city of Zurich is planning to make provisions for the accommodation of 80,000 additional residents by the year 2030. As this sort of urban development and densification progresses, demands on the part of city residents to make use of the available greenways and other recreational locations tend to increase. This, in turn, tends to exert pressure on fragile and ecologically valuable habitats within urban areas.

It has clearly become necessary to introduce appropriate measures to meet these challenges. In particular, it will be essential to secure and, if necessary, reestablish ecological assets in the very context of urban development. In order to achieve this objective, Grün Stadt Zürich commissioned EBP to complete a study of the basic conditions for effective measures. The study shows the contribution that could be made towards achieving the goal of reserving 15 percent of total urban space for ecologically valuable purposes (i.e. as outlined in the Regional Development Plan) by introducing a differentiated ecological planning benchmark.

Using our findings as a basis, we then examined a selection of measures and modes of implementation in terms of their overall viability, before going on to draft an extensive comparison of the most promising measures.

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