Suburban Infill to Redevelop Suburbia—Retrofitting Post-Suburban Business Locations in the Zürich Metropolitan Area as a Component of Growth Management

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Suburban Infill to Redevelop Suburbia—Retrofitting Post-Suburban Business Locations in the Zürich Metropolitan Area as a Component of Growth Management


  • Hendrik Jansen ILS—Research Institute for Regional und Urban Development, Germany


Abstract  Regional growth management has become a significant component of sustainable urban land development in many European metropolitan areas. Particularly in rapidly growing metropolitan regions, increasing population and job numbers require strategic planning management, but there is little knowledge about which planning instruments influence or direct these processes most effectively. Based on an analysis of spatial development in the Zürich metropolitan region, particularly in suburban areas, over the past several decades, this article examines the opportunities for the infill, revitalization and retrofitting of suburban business locations as key elements of growth management. In doing so, this article focuses on one central question: To what extent does (cantonal) regional planning and its specific instruments (cantonal structure plan) influence and control the spatial development and urban design quality in the retrofitting of suburban locations? The Glattal region was chosen as a case study as it experienced a significant change in terms of its urban structure during the last 10–15 years. In this context, suburban service locations were examined and analysed in depth using two case studies. The Hochbord area in Dübendorf and the Glattpark area in Opfikon demonstrate the conversion of formerly mono-functional areas (Hochbord) to mixed-use neighbourhoods and the development of new mixed-use locations (Glattpark). The article demonstrates how the suburban office stock transformed to strategic spots for mixed-use in both locations and explores how the retrofitting process could be directed at the cantonal level. In this context, spatial planning instruments at the regional level, such as the cantonal structure plan, seem to play a significant role in the transformation of the urban periphery.


Keywords  growth management; retrofitting suburbia; suburban infill; urban revitalization


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/up.v2i4.1092


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