Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey | Landscape Planning and Urban Systems

Suburban Open-Space Development – Decision-support systems for sustainability in spatial planning

Public parks, agricultural and forest areas, traffic zones, sport and leisure facilities, nature reserves, waters: our agglomerations consist of a multitude of unbuilt spaces. In planning however they are often treated as «remaining territories» or their handling is sectorally regulated, even though they fulfill manifold and important functions. An attractive network of open spaces is however key for enhancing the quality of life in suburban areas, for the well-being of the working population, for climate and biodiversity as well as for agriculture and forestry!

The settlement areas in the peripherals of the Swiss cities have spread widely during the last decades. Numerous inhabitants live nowadays in these «suburban spaces». Multifaceted nature and green areas, multifunctional traffic zones with high amenity value and publicly accessible places, but also connected agricultural and forestry areas represent for the population an important compensation to the built and often intensely used settlement parts. In the project suburban development of open spaces existing knowledge and experience with the development of open spaces provided by cantons, cities and agglomerations are therefore gathered in order to develop new federal policies for securing and developing these areas. Interfaces are identified and integral actions put forward. The project is supported by eight federal offices. The federal office of spatial development and housing is leading the project.

The cross-linking of knowledge is carried out in 2010/2011 in the frame of four events, which are organized around four topics:

  • Integral planning processes,
  • Landscape and biodiversity,
  • Living and working area, mobility, sport and health,
  • Land and forest management.

The subject agglormeration parks is especially important for the ARE. The agglomeration parks in the cantons of Aargau and Zurich show the importance of comprehensive and cross-border handling of open spaces. Which are the functions of agglomeration parks? Should there be more agglomeration parks in other places in Switzerland? How can the approaches, which have been developed for testing the concept, be pursued further? Do we need a new federal programme in future to bring forward agglomeration parks or are there different and better ways? The exchange of experiences regarding suburban open spaces development offers an ideal platform to discuss also the future of such agglomeration parks and the role played by spatial development.



Completed project