Design Studio
Spring 2022

FeusisbergTax Haven Gentrification: A Claim for Territorial EquityViviane Hug and Tabea Meienhofer

Feusisberg and Schindellegi, the villages of billionaires in Canton Schwyz, are a tax haven par excellence. Low taxes and the beautiful view of Lake Zurich have attracted numerous superrich and famous personalities to the municipality of Feusisberg. The fact that municipalities compete on taxes is only possible because of the tax federalism that exists in Switzerland. While some lower-income groups serve to maintain the idyllic village life in the municipality, others are driven out because of high property prices. Social segregation is one of the consequences of this competition, brought about by the spatial concentration of like-minded, wealthy taxpayers. We also know such a process from cities, gentrification, which is why the term “tax haven gentrification” is used here. With Feusisberg as a case study, our tax system is called into question and opens the perspective beyond the borders of Switzerland, into a global comparison. To then return to our village of Feusisberg and its inhabitants and make unheard voices heard.


Elevation: 685 m.a.s.l.
Surface: 17.5 km2
Population: 5,427 inh.
Population density: 310 inh./km2
Population growth: 12.1 %
Average yearly income: 303,440 CHF/yr.
Population over 65 years old: 17.6 %
Share of foreign population: 25.7 %