Prof. em. Dr. Bernd Scholl | Spatial Development

Capacity of Railway Infrastructure and Possible Density Increases for Future Settlement Development in Central Switzerland

A considerable part of the existing settlement area reserves of around 60% are located in the small and mid-sized communities of Switzerland. The research investigates whether the existing formal and informal planning instruments are suitable for high-quality development according to the minimum strategy of ‘Inward Development before New Development’ and if the relevant actors can apply these instruments. Essentially, the project concentrates on questions of the existing instruments, actors, organisational forms and their effects on a high-quality settlement development. The project continues the approach and results of two previous important research projects: the SNF project, Latitude for Density (Spielräume für Dichte) and Chances and Challenges for the SBB.

As the backbone of public transport in Switzerland, the railway corridors in national and regional level and railway stations on the local level form the core of the analysis. First results from the project, Chances and Challenges for the SBB, show that there are still large land reserves for settlement development in the areas close to railway stations in small and mid-sized communities.

A long-term goal of the project is a sustainable settlement development with emphasis on the development of internal land reserves in combination with railway infrastructure strategies. The existing planning instruments and the interaction between the relevant actors will be examined in the short term.




Prof. Dr. Bernd Scholl
Mahdokht Soltaniehha
Rolf Sonderegger


April 2015 – March 2018