ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
HIL H44.1 – Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5 – 8093 Zurich



Herblingertal, Schaffhausen

Developing Herblingertal – Schaffhausen

As part of the Design Studio, we will develop urban design plans for the Fulach and Herblinger valley in groups of four to six students. These will respond both to the regional context and the concrete local situation, including the local actors. What potentials can be found in these areas?  Are there alternatives to the current development? What role can the valley play in the future spatial development of the city of Schaffhausen? And how can the existing environment be meaningfully transformed in the face of an uncertain future?


Strategic urban design action requires the knowledge of spatial, socio-economic, planning, technological and historical contexts. It is necessary to recognize the existing potentials and to develop sustainable designs on their basis. Designs can be poweful visions that make a concrete contribution to and provide food for thought for the evolution of local planning. The urban design studio will be held in close cooperation and coordination with the Schaffhausen City Planning Department. In the context of the interim reviews, the designs will be discussed continuously with representatives of the City and Canton, and with invited architects and planners.


The canton of Schaffhausen has nearly 80,000 inhabitants. Almost half of them live in the town of Schaffhausen. The agglomeration Schaffhausen is part of the Zurich Metropolitan Region is well connected with transport means both regionally and nationally. It also includes the northern Zurich Weinland, the district Diessenhofen of the canton of Thurgau, and the German city Büsingen.


The Herblinger valley

Due to the enormous economic impetus after the World War II, Schaffhausen developed into an important site for heavy industry. Though many factories were forced to close in the 1980s, it was possible to re-establish the economy through a liberal tax policies and a targeted location promotion to international companies. Today, over 70% of workers are employed in the service sector. The city is located on the Rhine and has a challenging topography: the hills and valleys have led to a strong segregation of uses.


Due to the high demand for land in the 1960s and 1970s, the Herblinger valley was redeveloped as an industrial and logistics area. At the same time the front part of the valley (Fulachtal), north of the city center, operated as a freight rail station. These areas still have major land reserves.



• Maximum 24 Students

• Group work, Studio in ONA, E25

• Teaching languages: german and english

• ECTS Credit points:  13 + 3 (P) 

• Collaboration with the City of Schaffhausen

• Semestertermine:

   Introduction: Tuesday, 17.02.2015, 10:00, ONA G27  

   Interim reviews: 10.03.15 / 15.04.15 / 05.05.15

   Final review: Wednesay, 27.05.2015



Michael Wagner