Events - 04.10.2011 - 00:00 

HSG am Puls on urban sprawl

Urban sprawl is one of this country’s most urgent problems. How should it be stopped? How should regional development planning be channelled into sustainable directions? A public debate will be taking place in HSG am Puls.


26 September 2011. The public panel discussion on “Switzerland’s landscape – soon only urban?” will take place on Monday, 3 October, from 6.15 p.m. in the HSG’s Audimax. This will be the first of two events in autumn 2011 in the HSG am Puls series. The Eastern Swiss TV channel TVO will record the public discussion round and on Sunday, 9 October, from 6.30 p.m. will broadcast a half-hour summary, which will be repeated every hour.

More and more land is being built on

Ever since 1979, the cantons have largely been able to pursue their own regional development planning. In Switzerland, tens of thousands of square metres are built on every day. In the agglomerations of cities like Zurich, Geneva and Basel, remaining land reserves are carefully husbanded – in rural cantons, however, very large areas have been designated as building land. Regional development is an abiding issue in this country. Time and again, it is the subject of controversial discussions: in parliament, in the political parties, among the general public – at present, for example, in connection with the so-called Landscape Initiative, which calls for a 20-year moratorium on new building zones.

One issue – many perspectives

On the occasion of the public panel discussion at the University of St.Gallen, a debate is expected to take place about how Switzerland’s landscape can be protected and used, and how urban sprawl can be controlled, restricted or stopped through regional development planning. The economist Monika Bütler, the lawyer Thomas Geiser, the finance expert Manuel Ammann and the sociologist Franz Schultheis will represent the HSG. They will be joined by special guest Ueli Widmer, former Director of the former Federal Office for Spatial Development, ex-minister of Appenzell-Ausserrhoden and currently a member of the Executive Board of the KIBAG construction firm. The discussion will be moderated by the Eastern Swiss journalist and former editor of the Bernese daily newspaper, Der Bund, Hanspeter Spörri. The general public are cordially invited to listen to the panel discussion and ask questions. 

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