Urban quality touches on key questions of well-being and quality of life. Following the completion of NRP 65, researchers are calling for the urbanisation of suburban areas.

​Five projects studied new urban quality between 2010 and 2013 with an overall budget of CHF 5 million. The research programme was completed at the end of May 2015.

Key insights for politics and practice

The goal is to develop existing settlement areas in a way that improves unsatisfactory socio-spatial solutions. Remodeling and urbanising neighbourhoods, boroughs and suburban areas are core elements of a new urban quality. The key term in this context is “Raumgeborgenheit” or “familiarity of space”: citizens need to feel connected with the spaces they live in, and spaces need to offer an identity. Urban quality affects people in their living and working environment, it influences well-being and is linked to a wide range of political and societal developments.

To stop urban sprawl and protect landscapes, settlement areas in Switzerland need to develop inwards. While this strategy enjoys political backing and widespread acceptance, it has the potential to provoke serious conflicts in individual cases. The topic is relevant to all areas, towns and villages in all language regions of Switzerland. But urban quality can come in different shades: the particular situation of each area, town or village as well as the needs of the inhabitants must be taken into account.

This requires a flexible transdisciplinary approach that suits the area in question and involves those who will be affected by the changes. A new understanding of overall city planning can help to produce good architectural blueprints. Urbanity is not to be had without consideration of city planning conventions.

Two synthesis reports summarise the research results of NRP 65 "New Urban Quality":

Sulzer, Jürg and Desax, Martina (Eds): Stadtwerdung der Agglomeration. Die Suche nach einer neuen urbanen Qualität. Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich, 2015 (available in German and French)

Wehrli-Schindler, Brigit (Ed): Urbane Qualität für Stadt und Umland. Ein Wegweiser zur nachhaltigen Raumentwicklung. Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich, 2015 (available in German and French)

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