Today’s agglomerations lack the urban qualities that core cities offer in the form of short routes, public spaces and a high density and mix of uses. This has an increasingly negative impact on the quality of life of the population. However, a sustainable restructuring of these agglomerations would be a major challenge. A restructuring would have to meet different requirements on different planning levels and create a long-term sustainable relationship between the infrastructure, development and open spaces. To do this, approaches are needed that make it possible to integrate existing scientific knowledge, practice and the local population. In addition, new tools are needed that support the cooperation between science and practice in the development of socially acceptable urban patterns. The goal of the project was therefore to develop a collaboration platform with a modelling and visualisation tool for planning processes for sustainable urban patterns.
In an interdisciplinary project team, new instruments and approaches were developed and subjected to an iterative ‘reality check’. The instruments developed:
- support a deeper understanding of the complex human-environment system;
- make the spatial impact of existing rules visible, for example, the building and zoning regulations or behaviour-based rules of households and workers; and
- allow aspects of the urban settlements and life qualities to be displayed with its quantitative indicators, and
- to make them negotiable.
The approaches and tools have been developed using the example of the Limmattal (Limmat Valley) region in Switzerland, which ranges along the Limmat River from Zurich to Baden.