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Nature & the Environment

Quality of life in Zürich

Lake of Zurich

The City of Zürich regularly occupies the top spots in rankings of cities based on quality of life, and with good reason. It has attractive working and residential areas that are filled with greenery and have good access to the lake, rivers, hills and forests. Additionally noticeable progress has been made over the past two decades in terms of environmental quality.

Water, rivers and lakes

Lake Zürich and the two rivers which run through the city – the Limmat and the Sihl – appeared at the end of the last Ice Age. The climate on Lake Zürich is primarily influenced by westerly winds which often bring rain with them, and by their east or north-easterly counterparts, which bring cooler weather patterns throughout the year. 70% of Zürich's drinking water comes from the lake, and according to regular analyses it is of consistent excellent quality.

Parks and leisure areas

The Lindenhof is the oldest public parkland and dates back to the ninth century. In the Zürichhorn area there is a Chinese garden, which was a gift from Zürich's twin city of Kunming in the south-west of China in recognition of the city's technical and scientific support in the development of Kunming's drinking water supply and urban drainage. More park and leisure areas seem to have been springing up of late, including the spectacular modern park in New Oerlikon and the terraces along the river banks.

Nature park and zoo

Native animals such as the lynx, the brown bear, the marmot and the ibex all call the Langenberg nature park at the foot of the Albis home, while the Zürich Zoo has developed innovative concepts for animal breeding using new enclosures.

Of particular interest is the Zürich Wilderness Park – a real experience for the visitor since it shows nature that is preserved yet untouched by human hands and left to develop as it would in the wild. Mere minutes away from the city, the Zürich Wilderness Park demonstrates the thrilling contrast between civilisation and nature.

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