Win-win situation in Winterthur: coordinated development brings many advantages

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Win-win situation in Winterthur: coordinated development brings many advantages

The ZHAW requires additional space in Winterthur. The canton of Zurich will coordinate the further development of the university closely with the city of Winterthur and align it with its planning. This will benefit both students and teachers as well as the city’s population.

The ZHAW is one of the leading universities in Switzerland. With the population growth in the canton of Zurich, the number of students has also risen sharply. These will continue to increase by 0.8 to 2 percent annually until 2035. The ZHAW therefore needs additional and modern space in Winterthur in order to be able to continue to provide its students and faculty with attractive educational and research infrastructures in the future. In addition, there is an increased need for coordination with urban planning and infrastructure requirements, because the city of Winterthur has drawn up an urban development concept ("Winterthur 2040").

Further development near the city center

The further development of the university is to be coordinated with the city’s planning. The ZHAW strives to include neighborhood and urban interests in its development and - if compatible with the school’s interests - to make jointly usable spaces available to the public as well as research and business partners in the sense of Open Science. To this end, the Canton of Zurich, the City of Winterthur and the ZHAW signed a joint declaration of intent, which forms a binding basis for the future development steps of the ZHAW. As before, development is to take place in the immediate vicinity of Winterthur’s main train station at the three ZHAW sites Sulzer-Areal, Technikum and St. Georgen. The university should be well integrated into the urban fabric and connected with urban open spaces and the adjacent neighborhoods.

While the uses on the Sulzer site will be further developed on the existing area, a gradual expansion is envisaged in the area between the Technikum and the Zeughäusern. In a first stage, an expansion of the area on Technikumstrasse ("Campus T") and an extension of the ZHAW on Teuchelweiherplatz are planned. Together with the city of Winterthur, this site will be gradually developed into a "knowledge quarter". The current uses on Teuchelweiherplatz by third parties will be relocated to the armasuisse site and parts of the Zeughauswiesen. At the St. Georgen site, an extension across the tracks to the SBB-owned Lindareal is being examined. This will reduce SBB’s space requirements for railroad operations, allowing an area of around 18,000 square meters to be developed for urban development in a central location. SBB is planning a wide range of living and working spaces on the Linden site, public first floors with a variety of uses, green and open spaces accessible to all and a conversion of the existing listed buildings. This diversity makes an important contribution to an attractive future neighborhood. Due to its proximity to the St. Georgen site, the Lindareal is suitable as a possible new location for the ZHAW. The city of Winterthur plans to connect the Lindareal and the Winterthur Cantonal Hospital with the railroad footpath to the main station and with the SISKA site ("Banana") by means of a new pedestrian bridge.

Area management ensures overall view

In order to create the planning and building law foundations in the coming years and to realize the planned further development, the Construction Directorate, the Education Directorate, the ZHAW and the City of Winterthur are jointly setting up a so-called "area management". This will ensure that the complex work is carried out in the long term from an overall perspective and in a coordinated manner.

The coordinated development brings various advantages. The investments strengthen the canton of Zurich as an educational and business location - this is particularly important in view of the shortage of skilled workers. In the medium and long term, ZHAW students and faculty will have access to new buildings with modern infrastructure. The spatial concentration will also enable the university to make better use of synergies, which will simplify both study and research operations. Winterthur’s population, in turn, benefits from neighborhoods that have attractive outdoor facilities and open spaces as well as traffic-calmed zones and are well integrated into the city. A wide variety of uses enliven the areas outside of teaching and learning hours. In addition, the ZHAW creates jobs, trains valuable specialists, supports the establishment of start-ups and cooperates with local companies.