When a statistical evaluation showed that the Lower Reuss Valley had attained the status of an agglomeration in 2012, the Canton of Uri and the various municipalities decided to draft the first agglomeration program for the region. Those involved in the program’s development had only 15 months to submit the program to the relevant federal agencies after the Cantonal Governing Council’s original resolution.
The agglomeration program represents a new instrument for the Canton of Uri. As such, it needed to be developed from the ground up. The resulting program takes account of existing regional development plans and also builds on the various cantonal and municipal development concepts. Working in the capacity of a consultant to the project management, EBP (with support in some areas from the Ecoplan Consulting Firm) helped the Canton of Uri to establish a basis for planning, draft the relevant report, organize workshops for municipal and cantonal officials and coordinate the completion of all tasks with the Governing Council.
The agglomeration program formulates goals and strategies for the development of settlements, landscapes and transportation systems in the Lower Reuss Valley. The program includes a vision of future development and a catalogue of specific measures. With implementation scheduled to take place between 2019 and 2022, the 13 transportation measures that were assigned the highest priority (A-measures) and that account for a total investment volume of CHF 57.2 million were submitted to the relevant federal agencies as a part of an application for federal funding. In addition to the transportation measures, considerable attention was also given to developing proposals for various settlement-densification projects, with measures for increasing utilization densities at suitable locations being formulated. Measures for the enhancement of the cultural landscape were also formulated.
Federal review and implementation
The Municipal Councils of the eight participating municipalities and cantonal officials agreed to implement the measures outlined in the Lower Reuss Valley agglomeration program as scheduled. The Governing Council of the Canton of Uri submitted the agglomeration program at the end of September 2016 to the relevant federal agencies for purposes of review. The federal authority will assess the quality of the program and its overall impact. Given a favorable assessment, the authority will also determine which measures merit support and the amount of funding that is to be allocated to the approved measures. The final decision is expected at some time around the end of 2018. Irrespective of the federal response, however, cantonal and municipal officials plan to go forward with the implementation of the important projects for the Lower Reuss Valley.
Picture Credits: Christof Hirtler, Altdorf