How can citizens of Zurich be motivated and supported to green their home area*? *walls, roofs, balconies (and streets)

Bildschirmfoto 2020 09 15 Um 15.14.07

Alarming signs of progressing climate change have raised awareness for the need of a greener city, but do the citizens of Zurich know each one of them can contribute to the solution in the place most of them hold dearest, their very own homes? Walls, roofs and balconies offer splendid opportunities for greening the city and thus help the climate and improve the quality of living. How can more citizens be won for this cause and which tools might help them with their endeavour?


Zurich already employs several tools in order to create a greener city, but currently the majority of these are governmental instruments, such as city master plans, focusing on public space. As this space is limited, so is its potential.

Given the often long implantation timeline of government initiatives, it is paramount to involve Zurich's citizens more in the process of greening their city. However, constraints such as no ownership of the property, a lack of know-how or limited financial means can prevent citizens from taking action. How can these people be supported to act in an efficient, sustainable and affordable way?


We seek to convert citizens with an awareness for the need of a greener Zurich into active contributors to climate change adaptation by encouraging and enabling them to green their home area. 

Possible solutions could focus on:

  • How can existing know-how (from the city or already acting citizens) be shared more efficiently with motivated but currently idle citizens? (e.g. visions of future, visualizations, access platforms for know-how-transfer, project finder etc.)
  • Which incentive scheme exists and could be applied to encourage currently idle citizens to become active in greening the city?
  • How can motivated tenants (the majority of citizens are not owners but would like to shape their home areas) be supported to green their surroundings? How can we enable an easy interface between public-private or owner-tenants coordination?
Additional info and links (coming soon)
  • Links to incentive schemes systems in Zurich (More than green)
  • Planning instruments (SLöBA, Fachplanung Hitzeminderung)

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