Urban areas in Switzerland are grappling with the challenges of heat concentration during summer. In particular, the Europaallee neighborhood in Zurich has become a subject of concern due to its high temperatures. The lack of green spaces, extensive asphalt and concrete surfaces, and the absence of shading trees contribute to the heat-related issues. The heat problem is not limited to Europaallee alone but extends to various areas in Zurich, as urbanization continues to reduce open spaces and increase the demand for cooling.
To address these challenges, Swiss cities and cantons participate in the “Adaptation to Climate Change” pilot program, supported by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). They explore urban planning guidelines, heat-resistant road surfaces, and construction practices to mitigate urban heat impacts.
Efforts are also underway to assess health risks associated with high temperatures, particularly for vulnerable groups. The “Hot Schools” project examines how excessive heat affects students’ well-being and productivity. Innovative solutions are being implemented to combat urban heatwaves, including climate-conscious urban planning, heat-resistant road surfaces, a heatwave alert system, and the preservation of green spaces. These measures aim to create more resilient and livable cities in the face of rising temperatures and climate change.
Switzerland recognizes the importance of addressing urban heat issues as approximately 83% of its population resides in urban areas. As the country continues to densify, it aims to protect green spaces and develop sustainable urban planning strategies.