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“Rurbance” – cooperation between urban and rural areas

Zurich and the Rurbance project

As part of the European “Alpine Space” programme, the City of Zurich participated in the “Rurbance” project, which is concerned with cooperation between cities / urban zones and the rural periphery of the metropolitan areas. Rurbance is, therefore, a manner of follow-up project to URBACT’s CityRegion.Net project, which was completed in 2011 and dealt with cooperation between core cities and the surrounding area – the “core metropolitan area”. The project partners are from the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Lubilijana, Graz, Munich and Grenoble. The project was completed in summer 2015.

“Zurich – Gotthard – Milan”

In tandem with the international project, the City of Zurich is cooperating with the Cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Ticino, as well as various other organisations on the subject of “Zurich’s relationship and cooperation with rural regions on the Gotthard railway line”. This area is home to core cities (Zurich, Milan), medium-sized cities such as Zug, Schwyz, Bellinzona, Lugano, Chiasso, and Como, rural areas such as Sihltal, Zugerland, Innerschwyz, Uri, Leventina, and urban areas such as Mendrisiotto and the area between Como and Milan.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel will be opened in just a few years’ time. It will significantly reduce travel time, shortening the journey between Zurich and Milan to a day-trip, and therefore of particular benefit to business. These changes will also affect all cities, rural and urban areas located on the Gotthard railway line. What is the impact of this ongoing process on the regions of Zug, Innerschwyz, Uri and Ticino as regards their relation to Zurich? What impact will the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel have on the public sector? What changes can be anticipated and what common interests are there? How should cantons, regions and cities react to this? How can the efficiency and effectiveness of the relationship between urban and rural areas be improved as part of this process? How can meaningful cooperation be established? What kinds of cooperation and partnerships could promise to create an integrated urban-rural relationship? The Swiss project partners have drawn together and weighed up the issues and are working out project ideas to improve cooperation between urban and rural areas along the Gotthard corridor, between north and south, between Italian and German-speaking regions.

Alpine Space programmes are designed by the EU to operate as transnational cooperation programmes in Alpine areas. Cities and regions from predefined areas in Alpine countries can participate ( The aim is to promote sustainable regional development. The project is supported by the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) and partly financed by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) from the budget for policy orientation 2 of the New Regional Policy (NRP).

Contact person

Martin Harris, Tel. +41 44 412 36 60
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