Zürich, Switzerland
City population: 602062
Duration: 2020 – ongoing
Implementation status: In planning stage
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Building
Last updated: October 2021

Architect Santiago Calatrava is set to create a grass-topped office block on the plaza in front of Stadelhofen Station in Zurich with public parking for 1000 bicycles on the ground level. The project is expected to provide a good habitat for some species with controlling the seasonal cooling and heating of the building. (Ref 1)


Nature-based solution

  • Nature on buildings
  • Green roofs
  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Green parking lots

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management


Creation of new green areas

Project objectives

The goals are to (a) encourage bicycle use, (b) improve pedestrians' connection to the Stadelhofen Station (c) aesthetics (d) increase urban green space and (e) provide habitat for some species (Ref 2)

Implementation activities

The project is still in the planning stage. The following activities will take place: (a) The five-storied structure was commissioned by Swiss insurer AXA, and will be integrated with the station's public spaces. (b) The 1000 parking spaces on the lower level are an attempt to tackle the overcrowding currently experienced in the plaza. (Ref 2,3)

Climate-focused activities

Climate change mitigation:

  • Increase green urban nature for carbon storage (wetlands, tree cover)
  • Install vertical or horizontal artificial surfaces that help with carbon storage and cooling
  • Invest in public transport/bicycle infrastructure as a means to prevent car use

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Other


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Private sector/corporate actor/company

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Other

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

On behalf of the City of Zurich, AXA is leading the project with the architect Santiago Calatrava (Ref 1)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (In June 2014, Zurich’s City Council changed 'Zurich City Development Plan' for development regulations on Kreuzbühlstrasse 1, a thoroughfare in the city on which the new property will be built, to allow for the construction of an avant-garde building that would provide bicycle parking for both neighbourhood riders and station users. (Ref 3). Zurich also has a bicycle master plan which was adopted in 2013 (Ref 3).)


Total cost

More than €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Private Foundation/Trust

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Education
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records