Twann-Tüscherz, Canton of Bern, Switzerland

Twann-Tüscherz is a vintner municipality with 1,260 inhabitants that is located by the Bieler Lake in western Switzerland. Of special charm are the different scenery zones: a wide sea shore with boat landings and nature conservat-ion zones and also long-pulled terraced vineyards with dry stone walls. Thanks to the natural circumstances and the close connection to the city of Biel, Twann-Tüscherz has become an attractive winegrower‘s village with growing wine and holiday tourism.

In the past decades, many innovative projects were implemented. For example, there was a successful control structure in dense row and terraced homes. Thereby, new living space was created although there was a lack of building space. Another big project was the merging of vineyards through the complex reinstatement work on protected dry stone walls.

Since 2012, a main focus was put on so-called “soft factors“: For example, there is an active reaction to the problematic demographic development – the migration of young families and an increasingly high population age. Especially drastic is the fact that many of these elderly people live in houses that are too big for them and do not satisfy their needs. At the same time, many young people are unable to find enough living space. Therefore, the innovative project “Angelhouse” was implemented. An old, landmarked, derelict vintner house in the center of the village was renovated. The project does not only maintain a landmarked build-ing in the village, but also provides barrier-free, affordable apartments for elderly people. A nursing service center as well as meeting zones and service offers for the entire population, such as a fitness facility, a bistro and event spaces are attached. Thus, the senior citizens have an appropriate living space within the village, while large houses and apartments for the younger generation become avail-able.

A major strength of Twann-Tüscherz is its natural equipment – from the protected lakeside and the environmentally protected vineyards to the wooded or agriculturally used highlands. Another aspect is the Twannbach canyon. This leisure and experience variety is a great potential, that is used greatly through the creation of hiking trails, adventure possibilities and other touristic attractions.

The course of roads and rails along the lakeside is a known issue on the solution of which is currently in progress. Thus, partly successful demands on the federal government for road and rail tunnels have been a main subject within the village for years.

The village renewal in Twann-Tüscherz established sustain-able and interconnected economic, ecologic and social projects. Very impressive and exemplary is the successful implementation of innovative solutions in the field of monument, nature and landscape protection as well as the “Angelhouse”.

Evaluated: 2014