1. What makes you happy in this city?

Local

Zurich has been recently named “most livable city” by Monocle magazine, and I can only agree. It looks almost picture perfect at times (especially when you stand on a bridge and look all the way up the river to the lake and even see the snow covered mountains), and the standard of living is incredibly high, to a point that I think is kind of surreal. There are lots of shops, restaurants, cafés and cultural institutions. The public schools and universities are really good. We have low taxes and rather high wages. There is a lot of green space, and the river divides the center of the city in two parts. Yhich you can stroll along its banks all the way to the lake. The river and the lake are clean enough so you could jump right in and have a swim. You always feel safe in Zurich – even in the red light district, the major night-life hub. It is quite a compact city, yet it offers many of the advantages of a much bigger city; I like that the streets are never really overcrowded so you always have space for yourself. The city offers opportunities for business and commercial projects as well as creative freedom. There is no hustle or stress on the streets, making you feel at ease when you walk around.

Visitor

I love the jumble of sceneries and landscapes. Both on foot and bicycle, mornings here are pure inspiration: industry is mixed in with nature, and nature is mixed in with industry. It only takes a few minutes to find a peaceful spot to think, even in the most urban areas.

2. WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN THIS CITY?

Local

There are so many galleries, art museums, temporary artistic spaces and cultural events here. You can always fill your day with something. The Löwenbräu area just opened up again and houses galleries like Hauser & Wirth, Freymond-Guth and contemporary art space Kunsthalle Zürich. The quality of the artwork shown at exhibitions is often pretty high.

Visitor

I enjoy the simple and casual handling of food. As a food photographer, I see all kind of meals, dishes and foods as a source of inspiration. Piazza is my de facto office and a favorite place to meet friends and other photographers. The tartar and chèvre chaud are beautifully prepared.

3. WHAT WORKS FOR YOU VERY WELL IN THE CITY?

Local

It is so compact that the entire city is easily reachable by foot or public transportation. Trains, buses and trams are almost always on time and follow a strict schedule, so you always know when you have to be at the stop and when you will arrive at your destination. I like trams and buses because you also get to see the city while traveling from A to B.

Visitor

Zurich is a city of many privileges that afford its residents an incredibly high standard of living. A range of wonderful neighborhoods are fused in its relatively small area, so you can quickly find everything you might need or want.

4. WHAT WOULD YOU DO BETTER?

Local

Take-out and street food are both fairly bad in Zurich and often overpriced. There are only a few places that seem to do it right. I would definitely want to change that so people could have a wider variety at reasonable prices.

Visitor

I honestly have few criticisms of Zurich. However, climbing rent and rampant construction are issues to be dealt with. The renovations and new buildings fill the streets with non-stop noise, while higher rent eats away at income citywide.

5. HOW WOULD YOU DO IT BETTER?

Local

There are construction sites everywhere in Zurich, showing the great demand for new flats. At the same time, old buildings are being renovated to make them more modern and the rents rise in the process. Most new apartment buildings change such high rents that only business people or bankers can afford them. Usually their main residency isn’t even Zurich. Lots of flats in the Seefeld neighborhood belong to people who live elsewhere. The city should take care of that problem and set up some guidelines. They should also set up a program ensuring flats and areas for students, young artist and people with lower incomes. Otherwise they will have to start looking for flats outside of the city.

Visitor

For one of Europe’s foremost financial cities, Zurich does have quite lousy take-out food. Greater variety, with an emphasis on a wider selection of fruits, vegetables and healthy, prepared food, would be a huge upgrade. People should make these desires heard, so restaurant and shop owners can respond accordingly.