CH-1.1 :: Zone concept and rural land rights

Relevance of the issue and justification of the need for research:
In Switzerland, land in the agricultural zone has long ceased to be used solely for farming purposes. Such land is being built on (e.g. high-voltage lines, conversions of agricultural buildings into dwellings), it includes ecologically protected areas, special-use areas (e.g. landfill sites) and also agricultural superstructure works. Some 25% of all buildings in Switzerland are constructed outside of the building zone, which strongly questions the concept of separating between agricultural land and building areas. Moreover, there is a discrepancy between the Federal Act on Rural Land Rights (Bundesgesetz über das bäuerliche Bodenrecht, BGBB), under which only farmers are allowed to acquire farmland, and the actual highly diverse use of such land. In this context it may also be questioned, if it still shall be possible in future to inherit agricultural land by non-farmers, as it is possible today.
Specific research topics and knowledge gaps:
Land management
• Develop a new zone concept: Develop new spatial planning concepts which could replace the concept of agricultural zone and building zone and provide a more faithful reflection of the current situation (e.g. by introducing a cultivated land zone).
• Update the rural land rights and the inheritance law: Develop new legal solutions that could supplement or replace the rural land rights, and take better account of the diverse use of farmland. Reconsider who shall be allowed to inherit agricultural land in the future.
Documents:
• Bauen ausserhalb der Bauzonen: Fehlanreize im Nichtbaugebiet - eine Übersicht. Schlussbericht vom 27.07.2015: (Institut für Wirtschaftsstudien Basel, 2015)
• Website on the Project Raum+: (ETH Zurich, 2015)
• Umweltrecht in der Praxis: Journal of the Association for Environmental Law
• INFORAUM and Raum & Umwelt: Journals of VLP-ASPAN, Swiss Association for Spatial Planning
Stakeholders:
• NGO, network, workshop participants