Station 1: Three cities – shaping the future together

The city of Basel and the towns of Weil am Rhein and Huningue are embracing a unique opportunity to develop a large, coordinated, cross-border area in an innovative and sustainable manner. The 3Land area.

Dreiländereck © Daniel Spehr

The area between the Dreirosen (“Dreirosenbrücke”) and Palmrain bridges (“Palmrainbrücke”) is changing fast. Increasingly, goods are being delivered to the ports in containers instead of in pieces or in bulk. The chemical industry is outsourcing more and more of its production, which means that huge areas are being developed or converted. The city of Basel and towns of Weil am Rhein and Huningue have realized that joint planning can create synergies. They are embracing a unique opportunity to develop a large, coordinated, cross-border area in an innovative and sustainable manner. This area is known as 3Land.

A 360° view of the trinational project perimeter

Signing of the first joint planning agreement ©Andreas Maurer/CH Media, (l to r): Charles Buttner, Hans-Peter Wessels, Jean-Marc Deichtmann and Wolfgang Dietz
Signing of the first joint planning agreement ©Andreas Maurer/CH Media, (l to r): Charles Buttner, Hans-Peter Wessels, Jean-Marc Deichtmann and Wolfgang Dietz

In 2011, Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, together with Josephy and Cabane (Basel) presented a ‘Development Vision for 3Land’, an urban design for a trinational district between the Dreiländer (“Dreiländerbrücke”) and the Palmrain bridges (“Palmrainbrücke”).

This provided the impetus to develop and formalize a joint planning agreement, which was signed by all three cities in 2012.

3Land Spatial Concept travelling exhibition, (l to r) Hans-Peter Wessels (Councilor, Canton of Basel-Stadt), Wolfgang Dietz (Mayor of Weil am Rhein) and Jean-Marc Deichtmann (Mayor of Huningue) © Wendel Hilti
3Land Spatial Concept travelling exhibition, (l to r) Hans-Peter Wessels (Councilor, Canton of Basel-Stadt), Wolfgang Dietz (Mayor of Weil am Rhein) and Jean-Marc Deichtmann (Mayor of Huningue) © Wendel Hilti

The agreement specified joint development goals such as improving access to the Rhine or creating more green and open spaces. Whereas individual urban planning previously ended at the borders, the joint approach exceeds national borders.

Based on the Development Vision and the Planning Agreement, the LIN planning office (from Berlin and Paris) was commissioned to develop a ‘Spatial Concept’ (master plan) for further planning, together with interdisciplinary team members from France, Germany and Switzerland. This Spatial Concept shows potential developments. It was presented in the form of a trinational travelling exhibition in 2015 and discussed at numerous events.

Based on the findings of the 3Land Spatial Concept and feedback from the public, the planning partners signed a second planning agreement in 2016 for the period 2016-2020. This agreement sets out the manner in which the 3Land concept will be implemented in future planning work.

It is constantly updated to take into account new circumstances and requirements and continue the cooperation.

Perimeter

The project perimeter includes districts of the towns/city of Huningue, Weil am Rhein and Basel between the Dreirosen (“Dreirosenbrücke”) and Palmrain bridges (“Palmrainbrücke”) .

Its total area is 597 hectares. Over the coming decades, approximately 82 hectares could be used to create living and working spaces for up to 20,000 persons.

The IBA Basel label for the 3Land Project

The project is supported by the Trinational Eurodistrict of Basel (TEB). From 2020 to 2022, the coordination of the project is being jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union (Interreg V, Upper Rhine) and the New Regional Policy (NRP) of the Swiss Confederation.

The voices of the project partners in German or French

Esther Keller – Councilor, Canton of Basel-Stadt – on cooperation in the 3Land area

Wolfgang Dietz – Mayor of Weil am Rhein – on the value of cooperation

Jean-Marc Deichtmann – Mayor of Huningue – on past and present cooperation