Tag Archives: urban development

Travels in Zürich (2/2): Urban development and creative projects

Urban development and city planning is a fascinating topic, in particular the temporary use of industrial wasteland and empty urban spaces. Berlin is a good place to be if you like this sort of thing – there are plenty of creatives/communities/artists/galleries based in abandoned houses, old factories or other unusual places. And Berlin still has  a surprising number of urban spaces left although over the last years, many areas have been redeveloped or are currently under construction.

In Zürich the case is quite similar. Although this is a city of tremendously high property prices, especially in the city centre, there are little pockets of creative communities that use whatever urban spaces are currently unoccupied. Like Basislager, an art collective based in containers, or the non-commercial communal area of Stadionbrache Hardturm, both of which are located in the Zürich suburb of Altstetten. Continue reading

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Documentary: “The Human Scale” – urban city planning

This afternoon I watched a screening of The Human Scale, a Danish documentary on city planning. Fascinating topic: Half of the human population lives in cities or urban agglomerations. By 2050 this number will reach 80%. Europe has it comparatively easy: over here cities and towns tend to be low-rise and quite accessible. And even cities like London or Paris are compact and well-administrated when compared to the sprawling, congested, traffic-clogged mega cities of Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent – or South/Latin America, for that matter; I would imagine problems in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo are much the same. Continue reading

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