Zurich Metropolitan Region

Urbanization and Urbanity in the Zurich Metropolitan Region

Teaching and Research

An inte­gral com­po­nent of the tea­ching and rese­arch of the Chair of Socio­lo­gy are ana­ly­ses and stu­dies on urban deve­lo­p­ment, public spaces, and urba­ni­ty in the Zurich metro­po­li­tan area. Wide­ly diver­ging aspects of urba­niza­ti­on in Zurich are regu­lar­ly dis­cus­sed and explo­red in the lec­ture­ship­’s elec­ti­ve socio­lo­gy cour­ses, inte­gra­ted disci­pli­ne, and mas­ter’s theses.

Publi­ca­ti­on link: Urba­ne Qualitäten

National Research Programme “New Urban Quality“ (NRP 65)

Urban poten­ti­als and stra­te­gies in metro­po­li­tan ter­ri­to­ries – as explo­red in the metro­po­li­tan area of Zurich

Pro­ject Lead: Marc Angé­lil, Kees Chris­tia­an­se, Vitto­rio Magna­go Lam­pug­na­ni, Chris­ti­an Schmid, Gün­ther Vogt; Depart­ment of Archi­tec­tu­re, ETH Zurich

The Swiss Natio­nal Sci­ence Foun­da­ti­on (SNSF) inter­di­sci­pli­na­ry rese­arch pro­ject exami­nes con­tem­po­ra­ry urba­niza­ti­on pro­ces­ses in the Zurich metro­po­li­tan regi­on. Taking into con­side­ra­ti­on his­to­ri­cal, design, and socio­lo­gi­cal aspects, the stu­dy aims at estab­li­shing a basis, and deve­lo­ping recom­men­da­ti­ons, for sus­tainable spa­ti­al deve­lo­p­ment and urban design in are­as cha­rac­te­ri­zed by strong urban growth and transformation.

The fol­lo­wing three are­as of the metro­po­li­tan regi­on have been sel­ec­ted for more detail­ed examination:

 1) Zurich’s Lang­stras­se and sur­roun­ding neigh­bor­hoods, a mixed-use inner city area mark­ed by a high den­si­ty of social inter­ac­tion and strong gentrification;

 2) Zurich North, a form­er­ly sub­ur­ban area exhi­bi­ting a high degree of glo­bal inter­ac­tion due to its clo­se pro­xi­mi­ty to the air­port and its strong attrac­tion for for­eign companies;

 3) Rich­ters­wil – Frei­en­bach, an area along the can­to­nal bor­der bet­ween Zurich and Schwyz, a peri-urban zone that has evol­ved over the years into an inter­na­tio­nal finan­cial center.

Alt­hough the­se three are­as share cer­tain com­mon fea­tures, such as a high degree of inter­na­tio­na­li­ty, they exhi­bit vary­ing spa­ti­al cha­rac­te­ristics and wide­ly diver­gent urban qua­li­ties and deficits.


Modul 3: Urban Processes 

The SNSF rese­arch pro­ject modu­le Urban Pro­ces­ses exami­nes the social con­di­ti­ons con­du­ci­ve to gene­ra­ting urban qua­li­ty. It deve­lo­ps a com­pa­ra­ti­ve ana­ly­sis of the rele­vant socio-spa­ti­al pro­ces­ses in the are­as under stu­dy, pla­cing empha­sis on the par­ti­ci­pa­ting actors, acti­vi­ties, and urban prac­ti­ces. Today’s grea­ter metro­po­li­tan area encom­pas­ses very diver­gent pat­terns of urba­niza­ti­on and urban con­stel­la­ti­ons, and the stu­dy are­as exhi­bit gre­at vari­ance in this respect. In order to build a clear pic­tu­re of the cur­rent situa­ti­on, the modu­le focu­ses on two key aspects at two dif­fe­rent sca­les: At the regio­nal sca­le, it exami­nes the pro­ces­ses of urban gover­nan­ce and its impact on the for­ma­ti­on of urban qua­li­ty. And at the local sca­le, it inves­ti­ga­tes urban qua­li­ty from the per­spec­ti­ve of users and resi­dents in their con­cre­te ever­y­day expe­ri­en­ces. The­se fin­dings are then com­bi­ned to draw an accu­ra­te assess­ment of the urban qua­li­ty of the­se wide­ly con­tras­ting urban constellations.


Year­book D‑ARCH: Socio­lo­gy 2010

Year­book D‑ARCH: Socio­lo­gy 2011

Year­book D‑ARCH: Socio­lo­gy 2012

Elec­ti­ve cour­se HS 2009

Elec­ti­ve cour­se HS 2010

Elec­ti­ve cour­se FS 2011

Elec­ti­ve cour­se HS 2011

Elec­ti­ve cour­se FS 2012

Elec­ti­ve cour­se HS 2012

Elec­ti­ve cour­se FS 2013