Design Studio
Fall 2021

Airport und GlattRethinking Ecological Compensation: The Production of Nature Around Zurich AirportJan Zimmermann and Marco Steinacher

The land around Zurich Airport is highly embattled. Growing settlements and airport expansions cause the displacement of wetlands, forests, and agricultural area. Due to the rising pressure on unbuilt land, the so-called ecological compensation is introduced — a planning tool to regulate the handling of ecologically valuable areas: Land claimed by construction projects has to be replaced elsewhere. But the execution of this tool eventually leads to a fragmentation of compensation measures. On a local scale, hybridisation of land use through the strategy of ecological balance presents an alternative to the practice of compensation. Extending and connecting the already existing habitats, a nature belt is created around the airport territory.