Gateway, Impulse location, Conflict zone, Babylon, ...

The Schützenmatte is a dynamic place in the history of the city of Bern. Dominated for centuries by memory and fortifications, is today a space for uses which cannot be found anywhere else in the city.

Parking lot, drug trade location, viaduct and an autonomous center in a former riding school meet here as differences of interest of urban society: for some, the Schützenmatte is a “non-place”, for others a welcome niche, a central location, an underused area with a lot of potential, an open and public space in the city which must never be blocked.

Together with synergo Agency from Zurich, we support a two-year process of dialogue which renegotiates the Schützenmatte and develops a sustainable use concept for the space. In continuous workshops with a 70 -member monitoring committee of representatives of key institutions and stakeholder groups, decisive questions are raised and solutions are developed in a city wide context as well as for future use and design of the place. The results are fed back into public forums with a wider audience.

An essential element of public participation are the Experimental days: the parking lot is cleared away for four days and declared as an experimental field for alternative use ideas.


Partizipative Planning process
where Bern
comissioned by Planning Department Bern
Project partner synergo, Zürich / naturaqua, Bern /
Project TEAM Philip Schläger, Malte Wittenberg, Martin Schlegel, Belen Zevallos
timeline 2014 - 2015