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Design of the road area and the environment (VSS1999/110)

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Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
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Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects


Background & Policy context

Since the publication of recommendations for the design of secondary roads in town centers are worth preserving (IVT ETH Zurich and Civil Engineering Department Basel countryside) in 1987, were initially alone, realized later more frequently in the expansion of local roads inner redesigns of the road space. These were based in many cases on the aforementioned recommendations and, where available, on supplementary cantonal guidelines.

Today a wealth of experience in the cantons and communes to completed buildings is available. As a survey of IVT / TBA BL in autumn 1997 showed there is a current interest in the evaluation and presentation of experiences.


The aim of this research project is the presentation of this experiential balance sheet and a collection of examples from all over Switzerland.


The conclusions were reached on the basis of inspections of specific sites and the evaluation, in architectural and traffic-engineering terms, of a number of streetscape designs completed within the last 15 years.

There are general appraisals of 19 examples in selected towns, while a further six streetscape designs are described and documented in detail.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


It is fundamentally impossible to apply standards to streetscaping. The result of the evaluations does, however, reveal that the recommendations put forward and formulated in the 1987 guidelines can be drawn upon usefully during the design process for streetscapes in urban areas.

The conclusions from these experiences lead to two main findings:

  1. Although the scope or possible options for a design depend on traffic-related requirements and are limited by those requirements, the six towns assessed in detail clearly show that streetscaping is possible however heavy the traffic level is, not just where traffic volumes are low. Predictably, it transpires that the designer's task is more complicated and difficult the more traffic-related requirements there are (and the heavier the traffic is).
  2. Most of the recommendations contained in the guidelines on the "Designing Cantonal Highways in Town Centers" can be evaluated as expedient, appropriate and effective, and also as still valid. It transpires, however, that there are considerable variations in the degree of fulfillment in the implementation of these recommendations and in the completion of streetscape design projects.

In summary, experience shows that the policy adopted so far in respect of streetscape design is effective in enhancing streetscapes in town centers worthy of preservation, thus helping enliven them, ensure road safety and preserve the national heritage of historic buildings.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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