Regional Planning for Zurich and the Surrounding Area (RZU)
As early as 1915, the City of Zurich first issued an international planning competition for the City and its 22 suburbs to develop the first regional ground plan for traffic routes and residential, industrial and green areas. Although these plans could not be implemented at the time, the importance of an overall strategy and a certain degree of coordination in terms of spatial planning was clear. After the Second World War, when trade and industry experienced an unprecedented boom, interest in organised housing development led to the voluntary formation of six planning groups for the City of Zurich and, in 1958, to the foundation of the umbrella organisation Regional Planning for Zurich and the Surrounding Area (RZU), which was officially established in law in 1975. The RZU is a centre of excellence for regional development and is committed to a Zurich agglomeration that is pleasant to live in and competitive whilst at the same time sustainable. The purpose of the RZU is, on the one hand, to develop a model for the metropolitan area of Zurich, and on the other hand to develop and carry out planning tasks which are of importance to the entire region. In addition, RZU promotes and coordinates cooperation among its members and represents their wishes in planning issues. The City of Zurich is represented in the RZU, on the executive board as well as on advisory committees, and by delegates from the Building Department, the Civil Engineering Department and the Mayor’s Department.
Currently, STEZ and RZU are jointly carrying out a project aimed at examining the region with regard to the interplay of housing policy between the municipalities within the heart of the Zurich metropolitan area and its population of around 950,000 inhabitants and 760,000 employees. “Considering and developing Zurich as a residential region” is the scholarly basis for a debate on this subject. It analyses requirements for future residential demand in the RZU area, the planning and political prerequisites and creates a platform for the establishment of a dialogue on housing policy at the regional level.