The Future of the Rotach Neighbourhood

Assessment of the social sustainability of the Rotach housing project 

The founding housing project of the Rotach Housing Cooperative (Baugenossenschaft Rotach) was built between 1924 and 1930 and is part of the perimeter-block developments typical of the Sihlfeld district in Zurich. The approaching 100th anniversary provided an impetus to consider future planning for the project. Given reasonable maintenance geared towards final decommissioning, the current occupancy expectancy of the project is around 25 years. The aim is to establish whether a complete modernization could extend the project’s generational cycle – i.e. for a total of 50 years – or whether it would be eventually advisable to replace the current buildings with new ones.

ETH Wohnforum - ETH CASE was commissioned by the Baugenossenschaft Rotach to draw up a social-sustainability concept for the Rotach housing project and thereby contribute to the strategy finding process. The main focus of the study was an analysis of the socio-spatial qualities of the surroundings, the housing project and the apartments, as well as of the factors determining the high residential desirability of the estate. This required comprehensive data researches and documentary analyses, the development of a criteria grid with which to evaluate the socio-spatial qualities of older housing projects, as well as conducting focus-group interviews with the residents and key individuals in the project.

Article in "Wohnen" by Liza Papazoglu, November 2016