The site development “mehr als wohnen” (“more than living”) in Zurich North is a flagship project for sustainable housing cooperatives. Thirteen new buildings offer living and working space for more than 1,100 people and pave the way for future urban cohabitation. In addition to new typologies for family, retirement, and cluster apartments, this urban communal housing development also includes comprehensive services such as a guesthouse, a restaurant, and a mobility station. The planners are also experimenting with new materials and innovative energy concepts.
An initiative of 30 Zurich housing cooperatives has been developing the project “mehr als wohnen” as a platform for innovation since 2007. At the core of the planning process is the dialogue between the different parties. The project is also facing the pressing task of building and living, according to energy and resource-efficient means that go beyond familiar energy labels.
The publication combines elements of a book on architecture with sociological analyses. The built projects are documented using a collection of plans that range from master plans to apartment layouts and selected details. In addition, the participating architects, planners, cooperative members, and experts discuss their experiences and provide insight into the background of the cooperatives and of planning processes. They demonstrate how this exemplary site development can be an integral part of the current urban development discourse and reality. They also discuss how urban planning is able to produce sustainable city development.