On December 22, 2021, the Swiss Federal Court confirmed the cantonal design plan paving the way for the further development of the Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich on the Dübendorf Airfield covering 36 hectares. The Federal Court ruling gives the Innovation Park a real boost, and the legally binding cantonal design plan provides binding planning legislation.
Major events are a rarity in the long history of Zurich Innovation Park. Yet, in 2021 there were four big steps that carried the development of the park substantially forward. In May, the area was extended with the addition of three hangars and a large apron covering 50,000 square meters. In July the administrative court confirmed the re-zoning of the peripheral structures in a commercial zone. In August, the Canton of Zurich, the Zurich Innovation Park Foundation and 14 co-signatories consolidated their vision for the Dübendorf airfield area in the framework of a “flight plan”(synthesis report).
Then in December, the Federal Court confirmed the cantonal design plan. This means there are now planning rights for the first of two stages covering 36 hectares. Furthermore, the user community in the “decentralized innovation park” at Maagtechnic has grown to eleven companies. They are in pole position to move onto the park grounds as soon as this is possible. In addition, with the association of the “Innovation Park Central” in central Switzerland and the “Ticino Innovation Park”, the network of the innovation park has been expanded and strengthened.
The most important event in 2021 was the positive decision of the Federal Court on the cantonal design plan for Dübendorf airfield. Earlier in 2019 the administrative court in Zürich had revoked this planning instrument on the basis of an appeal. This decision has now been overturned by the Federal Court, confirming that the cantonal design plan is the right instrument for a project that impacts multiple municipalities and is of national interest. The Federal Court ruling gives the Innovation Park a real boost, and the legally binding cantonal design plan provides binding planning legislation.
The basis for further planning is the vision of a synthesis report which the foundation developed together with the canton and published on August 31. It is an overall view of the airfield area. It is noteworthy that all the relevant stakeholders – the federal government, the canton, the municipalities, the regions, the foundation, site development companies and other partners have all signed this together. The so called “flight plan” has been drawn up and forms the basis for a cooperative transformation of Dübendorf airfield.
The site was earlier extended to 50,000 m² land area and 10,000 m² hangar space by further shifting the boundary fence in May. Interim use of the additional empty hangars has since been made with numerous scientific and commercial activities. A test track was created on the apron.
In July the administrative court confirmed the re-zoning of the peripheral structures. The decision was not appealed, and since then the hangars have been available for commercial use.
Angst+Pfister and Credit Suisse are two further leading partners who have now engaged in the generation project. Furthermore, the foundation board has been strengthened with Christof Domeisen, CEO of Angst+Pfister, and Prof. Dr. Vanessa Wood, member of the Executive Board of ETH Zürich, who replaces Prof. Dr. Detlef Günther following his resignation.
And last but not least, the “Innovation Park Central” and the “Ticino Innovation Park” have joined the Zürich base as new locations, deepening cooperation and networking on the north-south axis.
Since the middle of November, a special commission of the cantonal council has been discussing various proposals for a credit from the canton. They involve a credit commitment for the Innovation Park, the part revision of the cantonal structure plan and a planning credit for civil aviation.
And if you would like to find out more about the current projects and the future development of the park, make a note in your diary for Saturday, June 11, 2022. Because this is when the park opens its doors to everyone and invites you to INNOVATICA 2022.