We need to talk about infrastructure – Patrick Bonzanigo

We continue our We Need to Talk About Infrastructure conversation series on April 26; 2022 between 17:00 and 18:00 CET with Patrick Bonzanigo (Lic. iur., attorney-at-law, MAS Spatial Planning ETH Zurich). Click here for the Zoom link.

Patrick Bonzanigo is an attorney and spatial planner based in Zurich, with a professional practice which has come to focus on legal, economic and strategic aspects in real estate, urban and territorial planning. After his graduation in law and subsequent art studies in Basel and having been admitted to the Bar in Zurich, since 2003 he has worked as a lawyer and in the field of planning. Parallel to his professional activity, in 2015-17 he obtained a Master of Advaced Studies in Spatial Planning at ETH Zurich, an interdisciplinary postgraduate program which he has led in 2018-21. In addition to his consulting activities, as a member of expert boards and as a speaker in his fields of interest, he is active as a lecturer and has recently joined the organization of the International Design Seminar Monte Carasso.

In this talk Bonzanigo will start from some reflections on a planning process which took place in Glarus Nord (Switzerland) in the period 2011-17. Although not entered into force as initially intended, the original planning process included an interesting and radical approach aimed at protecting topographic elements as well as green, open and public spaces in landscape and built structures at different scales.

Starting from the existing qualities of the landscape and urban texture, a priority in the planning process was to secure crucial space-structuring and volumetric elements in planning and building regulations, while significantly reducing detailed design-oriented rules such as those on constructive details, construction materials or colors, etc. commonly used in building regulations.

We will have the opportunity to discuss positive aspects and challenges of such planning and legal instruments. Bozaningo proposes to add another possible perspective, which links to how different regulations and legal instruments affect and form urban space and territory and how urban designers and landscape architects can try to take advantage of visible and invisible legal infrastructure as a possible impulse rather than a merely limiting factor in their work. This approach he advances, is aimed at establishing a productive relationship between legal setting and urban and territorial project, and it is also the object of the new course “Law as a design factor” in the framework of the Master of Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich.

Design strategies: A reduced margin of action resulting from the legal framework may call for temporary proposals as possible suggestions for future scenarios (photo: Patrick Bonzanigo).


– Announcement
– Lecture We need to talk about infrastructure - Patrick Bonzanigo
– April 26, 2022, 17.00 - 18:00 CET
– Online via Zoom (click here for link)
– Contact: Falma Fshazi fshazi@arch.ethz.ch