Research Project

Wie wollen wir wohnen?

In 2019 Wohnbaugenossenschaften Zürich, the regional association of non-profit housing developers turned 100 years old. With more than 260 members and more than 66000 homes wbg is the largest housing provider in the province of Zurich. In celebration of this anniversary a four-month festival, an exhibition and a total of 27 public events were curated. For this purpose, the Bellerive housing cooperative was founded and took over the Zentrum Architektur Zürich on Lake Zurich from the end of September 2019 until the end of January 2020.

Research focused on the history of housing cooperations and their past and future role in the Swiss housing market : Particular focus was given on the provision of affordable housing, new  forms of housing and communality and their future role in the process of urban transformation. In 7 public debates and multiple expert sessions the festival developed new perspectives for the development of more liveable and inclusive cities in Switzerland. The festivals aim was to give a broad public insights into the work of housing cooperatives. It enabled a better understanding of the history and values of non-profit housing and their future role in the urban transformation process of cities.


Wie wollen wir wohnen? Logo of festival publictaions and website, Roth&Mearchy, 2019.

Partners: Wbg Zürich, Melt, Roth&Mearchy, ZAZ

Duration of the project: 2 years (2018 – 2020)

Funding programme: Kanton Zurich Lottery fund, Stadt Zurich, ZKB, Eternit

Funding amount: €375,000

Principal Investigator: Tanja Herdt at ETH CASE; ETHZ

Researchers: Isabella Krayer, research assistant