Gas Stations Reimagined

In recent years, there has been a significant decline in car ownership. This trend is particularly pronounced in urban areas, with a significant decrease of 10% in all Swiss cities. In recent years, car-free cities have gained traction across Europe, reflecting a growing commitment to sustainable urban development and environmentally friendly transportation alternatives. The transition to a car-free city also seems increasingly likely in Zurich. Besides a decline in motorization levels, there have been political initiatives, underscoring the commitment to car-free areas. In Zurich, the gas station network spans 125 locations. They occupy an estimated 300’000 square meters of surface area, adding up to about 2.5 billion Swiss Francs. In a car-free city, these spaces will become obsolete. What is their future? Read more

To answer this question, we have developed a tool. It consists of an interactive website aimed at the citizens of Zurich and the “S+ Norm”, a document made for architects. By combining these elements, we encourage discussion and knowledge sharing about urban redevelopment between planners and the public.
The website includes an interactive map where citizens can comment on the different gas stations in the city. These comments can range from observations about the location to ideas for possible reuse of the site. For city officials and architects, this data can be used in neighborhood analysis and therefore influence the development of the area.
The "S+ Norm" is central to our initiative. It serves as a methodological approach concerning the reuse of abandoned gas stations. It includes assessments of neighborhood challenges, analyses of gas station typologies, solution networks, and a detailed evaluation questionnaire covering economic, environmental, social, and urban design factors. Read less

Maximilian Martel, Tino Nüesch, Rey Rölli
Arno Brandlhuber, Bing Liu, Giacomo Ardesio, Jolene Lee, Meghan Rolvien, Severin Bärenbold, Olaf Grawert, Pan Hu