Der Birsuferweg erstreckt sich durch die gesamte Birsstadt. Foto/Photo: Gaëtan Bally/Keystone/Schweizer Heimatschutz

The Association Birsstadt is awarded the Wakkerpreis 2024

The Swiss Heritage Association (Schweizer Heimatschutz) awards the Wakkerpreis 2024 to the association (Verein) Birsstadt. The cooperation of the municipalities of Aesch, Arlesheim, Birsfelden, Duggingen, Grellingen, Muttenz, Münchenstein, Pfeffingen and Reinach (canton of Basel-Landschaft) and Dornach (canton of Solothurn) shows that challenges in agglomerations can be dealt with through municipal and cantonal cooperation.

Development in the 19th and 20th centuries strongly influenced the landscape in the Birs Valley. Industrial, service and trading companies established themselves in the valley, once characterised by agriculture. Residential areas expanded, and cars and railways crisscrossed the Birs region.

The Birs Valley thus developed into an essential part of the Basel agglomeration. After 2000, the municipalities decided to work together to manage this process.

Pilot projects between different municipalities, such as the “Birspark Landschaft”, highlighted the potential for more cooperation. Establishing the Birsstadt association in 2018 created the foundation for coordination and cooperation.

In the association, landscape, settlement, mobility and climate adaptation strategies are negotiated, developed, realised and presented.

Under the association’s umbrella, the industrial character is enhanced while maintaining residential quality, architectural heritage is cherished, and the natural environment is restored or adapted to suit the circumstances.

(Source and further information: Schweizer Heimatschutz)