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    Zurich - Gotthard - Milan: a corridor for cooperation?

    The «Gotthard-line» from Zurich to Milan is interesting because of different points of view. First to mention is the historical, geographical, strategical and political role of the Gotthard-pass as the heart of Switzerland.

    The geographically clearly structured corridor between Zurich and Milan is home of very diverging urban and rural Swiss regions. There are the core cities Zurich and Milan at the start and at the end of the corridor-line, medium sized Swiss Cities as Zug, Schwyz, Bellinzona, Lugano, Chiasso (also the Italian city of Como), rural regions as Sihltal, the densly populated Canton Zug, the inner, more rural part of the Canton of Schwyz, the rural Canton Uri, the upper rural part of the Canton Ticino (Leventina) as well as suburban and urban  regions (Bellinzona, Lugano, Mendrisiotto, level land from Como to Milan).

    The 57 km long Gottard Base-Tunnel will be opened end of 2016. The travel by train from Zurich to Milan and vice versa will be shortened from about four to less than three hours one way. The two core cities will close ranks by that to «one-day-business-distance».

    On the other side, lots of municipalities between Erstfeld (UR) and Bodio (TI) will find new advantages and disadvantages, new chances and problems, new challenges. This fundamental change will have impacts on all rural and urban regions on the «Gotthard-line». What effects must the public sector expect in urban and rural areas with the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel? What are the impacts on the mutual relation of the Cantons, regions, cities and municipalities? What changes can be anticipated, where are there common interests? How should the cantons, regions and cities react? How can the efficiency and effectiveness of the relationship between urban and rural areas be improved as part of this development? What kinds of cooperation and partnerships could be successful in terms of generating an integrated urban-rural relationship?

    To answer these questions and to find new strategies and integrated governance-models, the City of Zurich will work out a study with the working title «Zurich – Gotthard - Milan – interdependancy and interrelationsship between core cities, rural and urban regions» with the Cantons Schwyz, Uri and Tessin and other organisations. The study aims to get very concrete results on mutual cooperation and on a sustainable strategy and governance along the Gotthard-line.

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