While the three cities have so far been mainly inward-looking, in the 3Land project they are engaging in coordinated planning leading up to large scale cooperation.

Structural change of the economy will alter the face of the harbour and industrial zones in the 3Land in years to come: vast areas adjoining the Rhine can either be brought back into use or put to new uses.

Through joint planning the three cities are taking the unique opportunity to develop an extensive area on a sustainable and innovative basis with a coordinated crossborder approach. As a result the cities will grow closer together in years to come.

The 3Land development vision (MVRDV/Cabane/Josephy) gave the impetus for the definition of a joint mission statement for space use in a first 2012 planning agreement.

The “3 cities – one future” 3Land space use concept (LIN team) is a further development step. It was presented in 2015 at a trinational travelling exhibition and discussed at many events. The space use concept points to potential developments which must be put into effect in the next planning stages in a strategic perspective.

Based on knowledge acquired from the 3Land space use concept and feedback from the public, the planning partners signed a second planning agreement in 2016 for the period 2016-2020. In that agreement the partners describe how they intend to continue the 3Land space use concept in their future planning work. They propose to implement the concept by the closing year of the IBA. In addition, new project partners have come on board in the shape of the city of Saint-Louis and the rural district of Lörrach.


The 3Land development zone comprises districts of the three cities of Huningue, Weil am Rhein and Basel. It extends from Dreirosen Bridge in the SouthtoPalmrain Bridge in the North.

The total land area involved amounts to 430 hectares.

Space for 20,000 employment opportunities and inhabitants could be created here on some 82 hectares of the overall site (equivalent to some 120 football pitches).

Perimeter 3Land
Illustration: View of the perimeter (3Land development zone)


2012 planning agreement

In 2012 the cities of Basel (CH), Weil am Rhein (D) and Huningue (F) signed a planning agreement with a view to coordinated development of the crossborder space (3Land).

This unique agreement sets high standards to be applied across national borders.

Extract from the planning agreement

Priority is given to joint planning of the “urban city district in the trinational Basel conurbation (3Land)”. Development goals are defined:

  • exemplary joint urban development
  • sustainable development
  • coexistence of historical achievements and new perspectives
  • structural densification
  • mixed uses
  • prevention of structural and social segregation between existing and new residential and employment uses
  • improved access and permeability to the Rhine
  • better crossborder transport links
  • joint transport concept
  • creation of more high-quality green and open spaces

The planning agreement was signed

  • for the Canton of Basel City, by Dr. Hans-Peter Wessels, Cantonal Government Member
  • for the city of Huningue, by Mayor Jean-Marc Deichtmann
  • by the President of the Communauté de Communes des Trois Frontières (CC3F), Roland Igersheim
  • by the President of the Conseil Général du Haut-Rhin, Charles Buttner
  • and for the city of Weil am Rhein, by the Lord Mayor, Wolfgang Dietz.

2016-2020 planning agreement

On 12 July 2016, the political leaders responsible for the 3Land project signed a new planning agreement. In that agreement, they designated the seven territorial corporations and two institutions which are to continue and implement the 3Land space use concept.

With the new agreement, the project partners focus on the three key areas of bridges/ mobility, landscape and the first concrete construction projects (initial uses). By doing so, they are paving the way for the first practical implementations in the 3Land by the IBA Basel closing year of 2020.

IBA Basel 2020

For more than 100 years, international building exhibitions have been one of the most successful instruments of urban and regional development in Germany.

IBA Basel 2020 is an international building exhibition that crosses national borders for the very first time and is being held simultaneously in three countries: Germany, France and Switzerland. The three partial regions no longer wish to be separated. With the help of IBA Basel, they intend to exploit the shared potential of the conurbation and develop a coherent living space for the population.

Across Europe there are 33 border regions, three of them trinational, but the Basel trinational conurbation is alone in planning crossborder urban development. That will turn “3Land” into a pilot region for Europe in the IBA Basel context.

The “3Land” project is just one of more than 40 other IBA projects.  “3Land” gets 2019  the IBA Label. Even if this project extends beyond the IBA Basel 2020 time horizon, it is an outstanding example of the processes that are needed to facilitate successful trinational cooperation. The focus is placed on the needs of the region rather than on particular interests. By doing so, quality and confidence are enhanced. IBA Basel creates the foundation needed for a sustainable new vision of day to day planning. 

Trinational Eurodistrict Basel

Trinational Eurodistrict Basel (TEB) is the platform for crossborder cooperation in the Basel trinational conurbation and was founded in 2007 at the initiative of the three countries, making it the very first trinational Eurodistrict.

Eurodistrict’s aim is to strengthen the Basel trinational conurbation and its urban centres as attractive crossborder economic and residential spaces of high environmental quality. Trinational Eurodistrict Basel coordinates and leads the project ideas, planning work or planning intentions at both political and professional level in the trinational conurbation. In an exchange with the neighbouring local authorities and having due regard to the unique features of the local administrative and political systems and linguistic challenges, TEB gives the local authorities an opportunity to find solutions to their local problems extending across national borders.

TEB has been involved in the 3Land project since its inception and is responsible for coordination and project follow-up for the French, German and Swiss partners. In addition, TEB has developed and sponsored the INTERREG-IV Project, which made the definition of the 3Land space use concept possible and plays an important role in the coordination and harmonisation of the different measures taken in the 3Land. A TEB representative sits on all the 3Land working groups and bodies to provide continuous project accompaniment. TEB is particularly keen on the 3Land trinational project which is designed to dismantle the borders of the trinational conurbation.

Timetable for the changing 3Land

From 2029

Transfer/optimisation of Klybeck Harbour railway station.

From ~ 2021

First construction project on Klybeck Wharf in Basel as the start of a progressive transformation.

Construction of 3Land harbour bridge begins.

~ 2019 – 2029

Extension of the trimodal container terminal (container terminal, harbour basin 3, harbour railway station) on the former Deutsche Bahn shunting station site.

~ 2019 – 2021

Cost-benefit analysis and feasibility study for a new Basel/Huningue Rhine Bridge.

2018 – 2020

Vis-à-Vis Basel -Weil am Rhein project (development of individual spaces around the Friedlingen customs post and on the harbour basin/three country triangle).


Presentation of the trinational transport study confirming the proposal in the 3Land space use concept for a new Rhine Bridge for pedestrian and cycle traffic and public transport.


Tram 3 runs from Birsfelden to the new Saint-Louis station (inaugurated on 9 December).

2016 – 2020

Weil am Rhein: Rhine Park extension and new layout, together with development of the pilot plot, construction of a new children’s and youth centre, redesign of the Rhine riverbank “Vis-à-vis” Weil am Rhein/Huningue.


Second 3Land planning agreement 2016-2020 to implement the 3Land space use concept and prepare construction measures.


Presentation of the 3Land space use concept.


Inauguration of Tram 8 and extension to Weil am Rhein, making Tram 8 the first cross-border tram route since the Second World War.


Redesign and start of interim uses of Klybeck Wharf in Basel.


3Land planning agreement between the cities of Basel, Weil am Rhein and Huningue.


First trinational test planning. Result: 3Land development vision, MVRDV/Cabane/Josephy.

2010 – 2020

IBA Basel 2020

With the help of IBA Basel, the three countries intend to cooperate still more closely on crossborder space use planning. The aim is to create a contiguous residential space for people living in the trinational conurbation.


Inauguration of the Three-Country Bridge as a pedestrian and cycle bridge between Huningue and Weil am Rhein.

Trinational Eurodistrict Basel TEB founded.


Start of coherent harbour and urban development involving coordination between the harbour and city in Basel.


Decision to dismantle St. Johann harbour, extend the Novartis Campus and create a Rhine riverbank promenade.


Decision to develop the former Novartis production site as a knowledge campus (Novartis Campus), dismantle St. Johann Harbour and create a Rhine riverbank promenade.


Inauguration of the Regio-S-Bahn.


Inauguration of the Rhine Center in Weil am Rhein.


Acquisition of the former Schwarzenbach silk weaving mill site by the city of Weil am Rhein. Kesselhaus Cultural Centre created here hosting craft trades, leisure and cultural activities.


Textile industry ends in Friedlingen.


Inauguration of the new Palmrain Bridge as a link between Weil am Rhein and Huningue (replacing the previous ferry service).


Inauguration of Basel-Mulhouse binational airport. An international treaty stipulated that France was to make the site available while Switzerland would erect the building and runways. Since 1987, the airport has been known as Basel-Mulhouse-Fribourg Euro Airport.

1936 – 1946

Construction of harbour basin 2.


Inauguration of Dreirosen Bridge.


Tram 6 runs across the border to Lörrach (until 1938).

1924 – 1925

Construction of the transshipment facility on Klybeck Wharf.


Single track tram line between Riehen and Lörrach.


Tram 9 runs from Basel to Huningue (until 1932).

1872 – 1945

Boat Bridge between Friedlingen and Huningue.


Inauguration of the Strasbourg-Basel railway line. Switzerland’s first railway line opened in 1847 between Zurich and Baden (the Swiss Northern Railway).

Basel is mentioned in the chronicles for the first time in the year 237, Weil am Rhein in 786 and Huningue in 828. These localities share common borders and form the three-country triangle. While Basel has always been a city, the localities of Huningue and Weil am Rhein have had a more rural character. Finally, in the last century the entire territory grew closer together without coordinated planning until it now forms a continuous urban space.



The IBA film about the  project 3Land. Production: TVISION AG,  by order of IBA Basel, ©2016 (german)

Videos about the project Vis-à-vis (fr)