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In Zurich there is Faubel: the ecological counterpart of Bellevue on the banks of the Hungerberg

In Zurich there is Faubel: the ecological counterpart of Bellevue on the banks of the Hungerberg

A biodiverse twin of the famous high-altitude traffic intersection in Hong Kong has been created. Concrete, cars and trams are replaced by trees, plants and animals.

Of all places, the busy, gray concrete square between the Old Town and Lake Zurich was the inspiration for a particularly ambitious landscape project. A green twin of Bellevue in Hönggerberg has been built in recent months on an area of ​​about 8,700 square metres.

The so-called Vuebelle is similar in size and structure to an inner city square and is also its own biodiverse version. But what does that mean exactly? Everything that can be found near the lake in the same dimension between Michelstrasse and Kapenbühlstrasse has been recreated using plants and natural elements. This can also be tracked on the project website.

The large triangle made of wooden walkways represents the roof of the Bellevueplatz platform.  Fruit trees were planted in the middle, similar to a Belcafe.

A detailed map of the facility shows that Höngg's Bellcafé stand will not be made of concrete, but of wood, or rather trees, and instead of pizza there will soon be pole fruits and other fruits. Lawns define the streets, boardwalks and trees define the surfaces of platforms and moors, and green areas planted with grasses and perennials mark the sidewalks.

Bellevue's biodiverse twin: Viobelle Park.

Where there are traffic lights in Bellevue, there are nesting boxes for birds here. While people in the city wait under the roof of the platform for the tram, up here they will soon find shade under mulberry trees in the same place in terms of spatial layout. While the plants and trees still need to grow, there is already a clear view of the lake – albeit from a distance – just as it was below, when Bellevue was still a park.

Instead of traffic lights as in Bellevue, here in Vuebelle there are three-part bird nesting boxes.

Why greener in an already green neighborhood?

The Bee'n'Bee Association, which implements various biodiversity projects in Switzerland, won the “For Züri” competition announced by the City of Zurich in 2021. In addition to granting a project contribution of 250,000 francs, the appropriate space for the project was provided by Grün Stadt Zurich. Implementation began at the beginning of last year.

The biodiverse area of ​​Vaupel is already home to insects and plants.

But why more green in the already green Höngg? On the one hand, the place had the required dimensions, and on the other hand, it was on the same axis as Bellevue, six kilometers away as the crow flies, with a view of the lake and the Glarus Alps, says Markus Schwab, president of the Bee'n'Bee association. “Moreover, not all green is the same.” Even here between agriculture and allotments, more biodiversity is a good thing, Schwab says.

Thanks to additional crowdfunding, the Vuebelle project was implemented and further developed. The green version of Bellevue will be growing and thriving in Hong by 2029. That's how long Bee'n'Bee is allowed to use the area that was previously used for agriculture.

Whether it's a fountain or a wastebasket: everything that can be found in the city is reworked at Höngg using natural materials and new uses.

According to the association, Vuebelle primarily wants to set an example for a new type of land use. It bills itself as a pioneering urban biodiversity project. After Zurich, something similar is set to happen in other cities. The goal is to create a habitat for plants and animals, but also a new natural place for the people of Zurich.

the Opening of Faubel It will take place on May 24 from 4pm and last until 9pm. Biodiversity experts introduce the park and its characteristics.

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