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The urban design and traffic concepts

See Figures 8.9 and 8.10. The existing street grid and blocks of buildings will be maintained. New buildings can be inserted gradually without rupturing the structure. The area will be divided into five sub-areas, each with its original character. The areas will be characterized by elements peculiar to their historical development, such as old industrial structures, by building types, and by open space. In special situations, architectural competitions will be held. There will be an extensive, hierarchical system of green spaces. Each sub-area will be centred on a park, and each park will have an individual speciality (such as sports, woods, city life, or industrial heritage). Orientation will be provided by linear elements (tree lines), while punctuating elements ('pocket parks') will provide for rest areas in the working complexes.

Ecological considerations such as emission levels and energy saving have been guiding criteria in developing the traffic concept. Another concern has been that transport and traffic solutions should not require large investments up front. From the outset, the area is well served by public transport. The fulcrum of the development is the existing railway station of Oerlikon. Services (and thus higher levels of traffic) will be concentrated there. Another S-Bahn station serves the north side of the site. In addition, two radial and one tangential bus line on dedicated lanes will be brought into the perimeter, so that no location will be more than 300 m away from a public transport stop. In the design and the localization of public transport stops, passenger security will be a priority. For instance, easy eye and ear contact will be assured. Furthermore, the area will have an extensive network of bicycle and pedestrian paths. The volume of motorized traffic that the streets will accommodate will be kept to a minimum, and parking facilities, while concentrated in specific structures, will not surpass the current area-

Bebau u n gsko nze pi

Richtlinien

ZENTRUM ZURICH NORD

Fig. 8.10 Zentrum Zürich Nord: the building concept. Hatched areas are retained buildings, dark grey areas are new buildings, light grey areas are new one-level buildings. Teilgebiet means 'sub-area'. (Source: Amt für Siedlungsplanung und Städtebau der Stadt Zürich)

Bebau u n gsko nze pi

Richtlinien

ZENTRUM ZURICH NORD

Fig. 8.10 Zentrum Zürich Nord: the building concept. Hatched areas are retained buildings, dark grey areas are new buildings, light grey areas are new one-level buildings. Teilgebiet means 'sub-area'. (Source: Amt für Siedlungsplanung und Städtebau der Stadt Zürich)

wide capacity of 4000. The objective is to keep car traffic at the present levels. As in Basel, an underground road link to the peripheral motorway is planned, but the plan will not be operative for another 30 years. Novel and environmentally friendly concepts have also been developed in the area of public utilities, including water and soil management, energy provision, and waste disposal.

The development concept

The development process has been the object of specific attention and measures to ensure that it stays within the planning guidelines. For instance, an element of public space will have to be attached to any private development (through direct transfer of private land and/or development fees, for example). A mix of functions will be guaranteed at all times by providing a minimum percentage of other functions at the parcel level. There are linkage mechanisms between private developments, the extension of the public transport network, and the construction of schools. In a first phase (already under way), the industrial firms will reorganize their production activities, freeing space for other uses. Then interested individual investors and users will have the opportunity to develop properties within the conditions set by the planning guidelines. It is expected that development could be completed in 20-30 years. The urban design framework is thus intended as an abstract (conceptual) system of rules. It forms a scaffolding for the actual (not entirely foreseeable) implementation options. The feasibility study is seen as the necessary instrument to further refine the plan, case by case. It is not a 'final state' that is thus envisaged, but rather a 'transformation process'.

Particularly interesting—and possibly revealing of the future development of Zentrum Zürich Nord—is the role that the local group zürifüfzg! i s playing in the implementation phase. The group sees itself as a producer of ideas and proposals for the transformation of Zentrum Zürich Nord, a promoter of community involvement (as in the definition of the public uses of the area), an initiator of consortia in the fields of culture, education and leisure time, and a contributor to the urban development process by organizing discussions and documentation on culture, education, and projects. The local group has successfully proposed the formation of a project group to accompany the development process. Contacts with the private partners are intensifying, to the point where it seems that some of the group members might be employed as consultants by the landowners.

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