Urban Tools – Case Study: Canton Schwyz
The foundation of this research project lies primarily in the development of a future-capable method for handling complex urban planning and design tasks. The basis for an interdisciplinary collection of instruments, methods and processes for the urban planning and design process was worked out in cooperation with the Office of Spatial Planning of Canton Schwyz as part of a case study.
Some of the most important challenges of the 21st century worldwide have come from the developments of living in an urban context and the related changes in the demands on the organisation and forms of human coexistence. In the context of the Swiss urban landscape, the specialised subject areas, themes and procedures of the tasks of city development were tested and expanded within in the scope of this project.
As an independent discipline, urban development concentrates on the analytical-systematic plane as well as synaesthetic-creative design and forms of urban spaces. Thus, it closes a methodological gap between the abstract coordination of spatial planning and a concrete formal architecture and mediates between social needs and their translation in space. The focus lies on urban processes and their basic communication conditions. Formulating goals and finding solutions within heterogeneous interest fields places great demands on the discipline. These demands on the design of processes, their communication and the competence of the participating actors were summarised in a performance profile. This was used to form a database of urban tools (instruments, methods and processes) that can be applied in practice, as well as in research and teaching.
An intensive exchange with actual practice is an essential component of application-oriented research in urban development. Therefore, in the case study for the Rigi-Mythen region, a regional extension to the Cantonal Guide Plan was worked out between the Office of Spatial Planning of Canton Schwyz and the communities affected. This allowed the content from the research to be tested in practice, thus leading to solutions for making the research content more precise. In addition, one such exchange led to the formulation of the knowledge gained in understandable terms and its practical application.
The results of the project were presented to the public in an exhibition by the Forum of Swiss History in Canton Schwyz from May to July 2007.