Rheinfelden, a town along the Rhine River, has won this year’s Wakker Prize from the Swiss Heritage Society. Its planners were lauded for having improved the quality of life in the town “step by step”.
Located across the river from its sister city in Germany, also named Rheinfelden, the Swiss town in canton Aargau was also praised for having had regular contact with its German counterpart regarding planning issues.
According to the Swiss Heritage Society, Rheinfelden decided a decade ago against building isolated developments, choosing instead to include more aspects of the town in each construction project. The result has been architecture “that transcends borders between tracts of land, neighbourhoods and countries”.
The Wakker Prize, which comes with a CHF20,000 ($19,900) cash prize, has been awarded since 1972 to a Swiss community that shows particular innovation in urban planning. This is the fourth time a community in canton Aargau has won. Last year’s winner was the community of Bregaglia in canton Graubünden.