Urban sprawl initiative

On the 10 of Februar 2019, the Swiss electorate voted on the popular initiative "Stop urban sprawl - for sustainable urban development (urban sprawl initiative)".

Keystone - Gaetan Bally


There is a lot of building going on in Switzerland - at the expense of nature and the countryside. Strict rules are needed to combat urban sprawl. These were adopted by the People in 2013 in a vote on the Spatial Planning Act: building zones may now only comprise as much land as is needed within the next 15 years. Building zones that are too large must be reduced in size. The cantons are currently implementing these requirements, thus ensuring better protection for nature and the landscape.

The proposal

In 2016 the Young Greens submitted the popular initiative "Stop urban sprawl - for sustainable urban development (urban sprawl initiative)". This initiative aims to freeze the entire area of building zones in Switzerland: a new building zone should only be approved if an area elsewhere of at least the same size is declassified as a building zone. The initiative also aims to stipulate in the Constitution which buildings and facilities may still be built outside building zones. It also calls for better use of areas that have already been built on. The Confederation, cantons and communes should also promote sustainable forms of living and working

Last modification 11.07.2022

Top of page