As part of the research project NFP 65: Urban Potential and Strategies in Metropolitan Territories, the Chair of Günther Vogt examined the existing and relevant standards of urbanised and urban landscapes and open spaces in the Metropolitan Area of Zurich in the module Urban Space. On the level of the metropolitan region, the landscape’s larger areas, such as Lake Zurich and the Seerücken (an east-west range of hills along Lake Constance), were examined and on the level of urban subspaces, examples of various types of urban open space, parks, squares, streets, were examined with three case studies.
The larger landscape areas and the urban open spaces constitute an important resource for the metropolitan region and are always in an urban usage ratio. If the question of the use of this resource is current, one could also read these spaces as ‘common grounds’, as spaces that are collectively used and whose use is always subject to certain regulations (jointly determined or state-defined). Based on this understanding of the resources, the focus of these investigations is primarily on the actors’ perspective, and thus on the individual users. The aim was to analyse both the effective use of public open spaces and the use of determinative regulations.
The first step was to test whether the landscapes and open spaces observed can potentially be used as a resource in terms of urban quality. In other words, whether the built environment at all allows for or supports such use. For this purpose, extensive morphological images were produced. In a second step, the experience of the built environment (its effective use and mental conception) of the researched areas was investigated. The actors’ perspective was thereby the central consideration and individual users were surveyed with different instruments suitable to their individual occupation and usage of the spaces.