Principles of spatial planning policy

Aerial photo of a residential development
© Sandstein / Wikipedia

Switzerland's landscapes are under threat. As a result of the constantly growing and increasingly mobile population, combined with the demand for land by trade and industry, the need for living and commercial space, as well as for transport infrastructure, is on the rise. In addition, the demand for residential space per person is continuing to increase. Every second, around a square metre of agricultural land is lost, and this means that spatial development in Switzerland is by no means as sustainable as called for in the Federal Constitution.

The federal government wants to introduce a variety of measures to counter this trend, including a revision of the Federal Spatial Planning Act with the aim of slowing down the loss of agricultural land and the practice of land speculation. Excessively large development zones will be reduced and better use is to be made of existing land reserves. This will result in more compact housing development, protect the landscape and preserve the attractiveness of Switzerland as a place to live and work. The focus of the second phase of the revision will be on the protection of arable land and better spatial harmonisation of infrastructure. In this process, the framework for orientation and action is the spatial concept for Switzerland developed jointly by the federal government, the cantons, and urban and municipal authorities.

Detailed information about spatial development is available on this website in German, French and Italian


General Secretariat
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC

Federal Palace North
CH-3003 Bern

+41 58 462 55 11

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