Advertising your own town by art: Garten-city Zurich 2009 


Huge planters are all over the city of Zurich at the moment.

Gartencity Zürich 2009 Campaign which commenced early this summer

It is a unique plan by the Zurich Tourism Office, which theme was integration of art & design, plants & nature, and city and environment. The planters are made of glass-fiber-enforced polyester, with the height of 150 cm and diameter of 120 cm. The participating artists around the world as well as from Switzerland have created these planters.

Swiss artist, HR Giger, who is well-known for the movie “Alian,” and Hans Langner from Germany are among such artists. From Accademia di Brera in Milan, collaboration of the professors and students contributed to some creations.



From the Zurich Airport to the center of the city, especially along the shopping street stating from the Central Station, the streets are decorated by artworks, and the area from the Baunhof strasse to Paradeplatz is one of the highlights. The artworks are arranged so that they will lead you from here to the lake, to the stone-paved old part of the city near the Lake Limmat and then to the Opera House. The number of artworks easily surpasses 300 in the whole city. 。

Oleander, palm, dogwood, Bird of Paradise, Japanese maple tree, fig tree, chestnut tree, and so on…

More than 30 different kinds of plants were planted, and every little daily changes you may notice when you pass by will never bore you out during this 4-momth long-term campaign.

The current season is the most beautiful time of the year. With full of colorful flowers in bloom, the whole city has become a mysterious garden.



Although the art displayed here vary every year, it goes back to the Cow Parade in 1998. The participating artists painted freely the top of the head of 400 glass-fiber cows, which were displayed all over the city. This body-painting on cows become a big topic, much more than the city had expected, and the number of cows during the campaign reached 800, we understand.

Furthermore, this trend expanded to Chicago, New York, and other parts of Europe. Even in Tokyo, cows had appeared 3 times until last year.

Later, here in the original city of Zurich, cows changed to benches, then teddy bears and then this year’s huge planters.




One interesting thing is that around the time when this event started in 1998, Zurich started to attract attention as the base of modern art, and artists around the world started to move into this city. The time overlaps this era when creative activities grew stronger.

When they thought about marketing the city, utilizing the brand power of “cows” and the power of modern art riding the wave of attention, was probably very natural.

First of all, Zurich is the birthplace of Dada. Therefore, this city has the ability to accept avant-garde.



From children to the elderly, the messages conveyed through art and plants are gentle.

Having the distance shortened by art, and having art as the hook to talk to people and society, Garten-City Zurich 2009, advertises the city in a dynamic way.

Richness of nature, and accessibility. While this campaign is a development of brand strategies to enhance the image of Zurich as a sustainable city, focusing on attracting tourism, it is, at the same time, to launch innovative charm that this city has as well.

Zurich does not have convenience stores like in Japan. Although it is an international city, one may feel that time goes several times slower than Tokyo.

However, iphone is a big boom even here, and information is customized by the development of cell phones and Internet.

On the other hand, while communication may become more personal, people still love the warms of skin and voice, and sometimes feel like to join the circle of dance. Such simple excitement and thrill are next-door neighbors.

Working people stride on the street. A young person is enjoying sunbathing on the lawn. Old lady of your next-door neighbor is talking about her cat. You pass by a traveler.

Thinking about the fact that people of every genre share and experience the same air, having the city as the media, you may feel that there is a future for communication.

Something makes me feel happy.

It will be held until September 20, 2009.

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