Alps Endangered as Swiss Sprawl Spreads

Over the last 70 years, sprawl has rapidly taken over much of Switzerland, not just in suburban areas around cities, but also in the country's famous Alps.
October 13, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Geographers also found that the modern level of sprawl – inefficient, low-density development – in places like the Rhone Valley was proportionately identical to levels around Zurich."

"'There really is no difference,' Christian Schwick, a geographer and co-author of the study, told swissinfo. 'We in Switzerland think of the Alps as being untouched landscape, but we have seen this is not true.'"

"By comparing maps from 1935, 1960, 1980 and 2002, researchers were able to assign a coefficient to sprawl, with lower numbers signifying denser, more efficient communities."

"In 1935 sprawl had a factor of 1.2. By 2002 it had leapt to nearly 2.6."

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Published on Friday, October 10, 2008 in SwissInfo
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