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NSL Projects

Selected current and completed projects include:

Future Cities Laboratory
This century will, for the first time, see over half the world’s population living in cities. Making these urban structures environmentally and economically sustainable and liveable is one of today’s great challenges. This is why ETH Zurich will start with the “Future Cities Laboratory” programme in Zurich and Singapore. The Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore is not the only commitment by ETH Zurich to promote sustainable urban development worldwide. ETH Zurich helped to found an Institute for Urban Development at the University in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The research at the FCL focuses on three scales: sustainable building technologies, the city as an urban system, and the relationship between urban and rural environments. The architects, planners and scientists see and design the city as a dynamic system in which people interact and in which resources such as energy, water, space, capital, materials or information are constantly in flux. Collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Results

Urban Potential and Strategies in Metropolitan Territories
 using Zurich’s metropolitan areas as examples (NFP65)
The goal of this project is to update the concept of urbanity. Three case studies in the metropolitan region of Zurich form the background of a confrontation with a contemporary city region and the question of the qualification of specific urban constellations. Reproducible and comparable tasks should be worked out for the sustainable accomplishment of current planning and design tasks. In the process, historical, design and sociological aspects will be drawn upon as well as a careful consideration of the available resources for urban development and transformation processes.
This research project was conducted with the participation of the Chairs of Marc Angélil, Kees Christiaanse, Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Christian Schmid and Günther Vogt. Results / Handbook

Landscape Visualization and Modeling Lab – LVML
The newly founded inter-departmental Landscape Visualization and Modeling Lab is a competence center for research projects and exercises within the teaching context through the application of current technologies in the areas of landscape visualization and modeling. The computer-supported lab is the first in Europe that links the processing of GIS information with modern 3D visualization and CNC modeling techniques. It is seen as a further development of the state-of-the-art visualization lab initiated in the 1980s by the Institute for Local, Regional and National Planning (ORL ETH) in cooperation with the Departments of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering and Architecture.
This project was conducted with the participation of the Chairs of Christophe Girot and Adrienne Grêt-Regamey.

The Swiss Spatial Sciences Framework (S3F)
The working group Spatial Sciences, composed of members of the ETH Zurich, the EPF Lausanne and the WSL, has been mandated to define research objectives in the field of spatial sciences which will be meaningful for future development in Switzerland and in Europe. In order to carry out this task, the working group is conducting a threefold symposium, in which national and international experts will be asked: «What are the crucial research questions in the spatial sciences in Switzerland and in Europe?»

Future of Urbanised Landscapes
From 2004 to 2006, the Network City and Landscape (NSL) took on the interdisciplinary research project: The Future of Urbanised Landscapes; which investigated the characteristics, forms, functions and development of urban landscapes in five specialised areas. Urbanised landscapes are shaped by the economic activities of people and structurally urbanised landscape sectors. The goal was to formulate methods and instruments as well as a concept for the planning, design and presentation of these kinds of spaces. The main area under consideration was the Glattal, located in the northern part of the city of Zurich. This suburban space between the Zurich Airport and the Greifensee has developed very dynamically in recent years. Considering the advancing levels of change and density, the importance of urbanised landscapes must be recognised and their importance for the quality of life of the residents must be acknowledged.