„Standortmosaik Zürich“ or The Ecology of Access

Jane Jacobs once famously wrote that cities are as natural as “colonies of prairie dogs or beds of oysters”. Cities thus are just the latest of evolution’s transformation of the environment by natural organisms – us. And our most urgent need is access.

In cities we find jobs, meet people, enjoy culture, get in contact with ideas or purchase the things we need for daily life. Cities are catalysts for human interactions the sum of which we variously call economy, culture or public life. Cities are defined by an ecology of access.

We experience the degree of accessibility, the sense of mobility and ease with which we satisfy our needs, as quality of life. Borrowing a term from plant sociology we speak of a “Standortmosaik”, the diverse mix of places formed by locational factors resulting in spatial diversity, mix of social milieus or synergy between different value chains which economists refer to as “quality of location”.

Accessibility in cities is a function of proximity, functional diversity and infrastructure. Contemporary cities are formed by increasingly powerful infrastructures. City and countryside are merging into the urban landscape of the metropolitan region. Such a region is defined by function and the division of work of its constituent, coopetitive parts. As a whole it competes in the global market of locations.

Transcending administrative boundaries and individual agendas, metropolitan regions are difficult to plan. The “image of the region” which we developed for the “Metropolitankonferenz Zürich” aims to communicate the features of this region to a diverse group of stakeholders and give its planning a strategic base.

We describe the image as the combination of structure, gestalt and form: The structure of the region is defined by the terrain, by zoning and most importantly infrastructure. Structure is controlled by the spatial and infrastructure planning of the cantons. Its gestalt is based on the identities of the different villages, quarters or neighborhoods, and their potential for change. This potential we defined by reserves of building land and transport capacity, and by the elasticity of a local identity when changing. Form is in the domain of the architects or landscape architects and includes public spaces, parks, streets or landmark buildings.

The metropolitan region thus is seen as an archipelago of form in a sea of gestalt organized by the currents of structure.

Schaefer, Markus: “’Standortmosaik Zürich‘ or The Ecology of Access“ in: Anthos 2/2011, June 2011

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Projekte

Architektur

Bahnhofplatz und Bushof Herisau
Stand: Bauprojektdokumente

Neubau Benninger Areal / Wohn- und Gewerbeentwicklung
Stand: Vorprojekt

Innenausbau Apartment im Park Tower, Zug
kürzlich Fertiggestellt

Mobility Hub / Parkgarage mit Verkaufsgeschäft, Zug
Stand: Vorprojekt

Riedmatt Ebikon / Wohnen, Gewerbe, Ateliers
Stand: Richtprojekt

Qube Ebikon / Wohnen, Gewerbe, Büro
Stand: Richtprojekt

Haus Chile / Innovatives Wohnhaus in Waldstück
Stand: Baueingabedokumente

Buchs Areal Fegeren / Gebäude für die Präzisionsindustrie
Stand: Studie

Haus Kyoto / Gemeinschaftswohnungen in Kyoto, Japan
Haus Kyoto / Gemeinschaftswohnungen in Kyoto, Japan

Lachen SZ Alpenblickstrasse, Wohnhochhaus
Stand: Studie

Städtebau

Bahnstadt Nürtingen, Nürtingen
Stand: Masterplan und Funktionsplan

Neugasse Zürich, Arealentwicklung mit öffentlicher Beteiligung, Zurich
Stand: Vorstellung Städtebauliches Entwicklungskonzept

Dessauer Strasse, Wolfsburg
Stand: Wettbewerb, warten auf Weiterbeauftragung

Herisau Arealentwicklung, Herisau
Stand: Prozessbegleitung und Machbarkeitsstudien

Technologiecluster Zug Bebauungsplan, Zug
Stand: Bebauungsplan und Richtprojekt

Masterplan Dierikon, Dierikon
Stand: Masterplan, warten auf Weiterbeauftragung

HafenCity Elbbrückenquartier, Hamburg
Stand: Masterplan und Funktionsplan

Wilhelmsburg Elbinselquartier, Hamburg
Stand: Masterplan und Funktionsplan

Wilhelmsburg Elbinselquartier, Hamburg
Stand: Masterplan, Funktionsplan und Typologiestudie

Nationaler Innovationspark Schweiz, Hubstandort Zürich
Stand: Machbarkeitsstudie Mobilitätsinfrastruktur

Leica Areal
Stand: Studie abgeschlossen, nächste Phase in Planung

Innovations- und Produktionspark Patton Barracks, Heidelberg
Stand: Rahmenplan

Wil West, Kanton Thurgau
Stand: Rahmenplan

Visp Sägematte, Visp
Stand: Studie

Stadt Zug Richtprojekt
Stand: Entwicklungskonzept

Urban System Research

Smart Use / Raum, Wachstum und Big Data
Stand: Laufend

Winterthur 2040
Stand: Laufend

Harvard University Gruaduate School of Design / The Industrious City
Stand: in Vorbereitung

Entwicklungsstrategie für 3 Gemeinden im Kanton St. Gallen

Kontakt

Zürich office

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Kyoto office

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