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Review - annual e5 excursion to Zurich!

For 2018, the Styrian municipalities selected Zurich as destination for the annual excursion to get to know the measures taken by the city and municipalities on Lake Zurich with regards to climate protection and climate change adaptation.

Zurich, together with 400 other Swiss cities and municipalities, has the "Energy City" label, which has set itself the goal of the "2000 Watt Society". 2000-watt society means to reduce gradually the energy consumption from the current 6000 to 2000 watts continuous output and to cause at most one ton of CO2 per person per year.
On Thursday, 21.6. we started with the Intercity from Graz to Zurich. After a pleasant journey, we reached Zurich main station in 9 hours and 40 minutes and moved into the nearby hotel.

On Friday morning, Mr. Karl Tschanz, the co-director of the Office for the Environment and Health Protection, welcomed us. He reported on urban planning and planning measures for the "Climate Adaptation" of the city of Zurich with its special topography.

Mrs. Tina Billeter-Weymann, project manager of the department "2000-Watt-Society" of the city of Zurich, office for environmental and health protection, presented the "Road Map 2000-Watt Society". This shows the most important ongoing, planned or to be examined measures. Also possible goal conflicts in the conversion are led, for example change of the consumption behavior or structural compression. The economic, social and environmental dimensions of each measure should be weighed to meet the goal of sustainable development.

One challenge is the city's limited scope of action and its dependence on decisions at cantonal and federal level. In the competence of the city of Zurich, many effective measures have already been implemented, are being implemented or are being planned. Now it is about more widespread impact, the strengthening of successful concepts and, wherever possible, expanding the area of action and application and reacting flexibly to technological developments.

After the lecture and the discussion Mr. Tschanz accompanied us by tram to the Albisrieder Platz, the starting point for our tour through the area of the same name area on the southwestern outskirts, to show us where the “2000-watt-society” takes shape, where there is need for action and what the approaches look like. If you want to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, walking is an ideal option, and so we walked along cemeteries that are used as a public green space, home gardens with vegetable and fruit and parks with old trees. Numerous older settlements and many new residential areas condense the outskirts. Albisrieden – a village at the foot of Ütliberg has grown together with the city and the district Altstetten. When planning new housing developments, special attention must be paid to maintaining the air flows that are essential for the urban climate.

In the restaurant "Turbinenhalle" - a former factory building in Altstetten, where also the Turbinenbräu - beer is brewed, we held the well-deserved lunch break.

By train we went to Horgen, a small town - nestled between Lake Zurich and Albiskette, with huge meadows and forests, used by agriculture and forestry and appreciated as relax area.

Mr. Max Talmon Gros, project manager in the Energy and Environmental Office Horgen welcomed us in the afternoon in the municipal office and reported on the projects and measures. The energy city Horgen offers a support program for energetic building and sustainable mobility. By 2020, the Energy City - Gold Label is to be achieved. For this purpose, the municipal council drafted the "Energy Master Plan" and approved it unanimously by the citizens. "Highlights" are on the one hand the car sharing offer of the municipality as well as the KVA (waste combustion-plant) Horgen, which is a few kilometers outside, where we took the bus. There Mr. Pichler demonstrated the sorting and combustion processes in an exciting tour. The innovative waste recycling plant is state-of-the-art and supplies district heating from residual waste incineration.

At the end of the day we took the car ferry across the lake to Meilen, a small town with 13,000 inhabitants. Meilen is also “Energy City” trying to motivate the population to use energy in a climate-friendly way by acting as a role model.

The "Velo-Tour" on Saturday morning started at bike rental at Zurich Central station. With our bike guide Sascha we drove through the notorious Langstrasse - area, explored the former industrial district, Kreis 5, where numerous former production facilities and abandoned factory buildings were adapted for cultural purposes and also for living quarters in combination with various trades and business.

We cycled all the way to Zurich West, the quarter with the skyscrapers, then on the Letten viaduct over the Limmat to the Lettenareal. Following the Limmat upstream we reached the old town, where we came through narrow streets (usually no bike path available) to the landmarks of Zurich. During the stops on the way we could hear interesting information about historical and current urban development and anecdotes.

The expansion of the cycling infrastructure is not so advanced so far, therefore, some sections crossed by or guided along rail crossings, sidewalk height, trams, sudden end of the bike path and continuation on major roads were quite uncomfortable and slightly dangerous

Afterwards we went by train and bus to Killwangen, to the “Umwelt-Arena” Spreitenbach.

Family friendly permanent exhibitions "Energy and Mobility", "Building and Modernizing", "Nature and Life" and “Renewable Energies“ explain the interaction of environmentally friendly products and their technology by experiencing, understanding and comparing complex issues to experts and amateurs. The 45 fully interactive exhibitions show how sustainability, renewable energy and nature fit together with human needs in terms of housing, mobility and energy without sacrificing comfort and additional costs. The Umwelt Arena is also the platform for companies in the environmental sector and also offers an interesting ambience as an event location.

In the restaurant "Klima" we were served a regional, seasonal and climate-friendly lunch.

In the basement of the “Umwelt Arena” is located an indoor course. In the afternoon we could test the most different (e) vehicles.

The last hours of the excursion we spent in the city center of Zurich in glorious weather and started the journey home by train in the evening.

Der ausführliche Bericht zur Exkursion inklusive Fotos kann mit Klick auf den Downloadbutton heruntergeladen werden.


Für weitere Informationen und Fragen rund um die Reiseorganisation wenden Sie sich bitte an Fr. Eva Stathopoulos (eva.stathopoulos@ea-stmk.at).