Re-scaling network governance. The evolution of public transport management in two Swiss agglomerations

Dossier  : « Le maillage suisse »
Par Daniel Kübler, Philippe Koch


This article analyses the up-scaling of territorial governance in the two Swiss agglomerations of Zurich and Bern. It focuses on the evolution, over the last half century, of the governance schemes established to manage a territorial network crucial to the functional integration of urban regions in Switzerland : urban public transport. Historical data is used to demonstrate that a shift in the territorial scope of urban public transport management has indeed taken place during the time period under scrutiny. However, specific political configurations as well as infrastructural settings have led to remarkable differences in the territorial management of urban public transport between the two agglomerations. This is especially striking, given the similarities of the initial governance scheme, as well as the dynamics of territorial restructuring that are comparable across the two places. We conclude that, while an up-scaling of territorial governance has occurred in both agglomerations, the different trajectories are the result of a process in which infrastructural pre-conditions combine with political conflicts to produce diverging forms of area-wide territorial governance.

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