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Local News Summary of April, 11th

  • Roger Federer and three further top 10 players at Swiss Indoors 2018
  • Basel Wolf will be the «smartest» area in Switzerland
  • Motion for further bollards in the city centre

Roger Federer and three further top 10 players at Swiss Indoors 2018

Once again, the Swiss Indoors Basel is set to be a major event: Roger Federer and three other top 10 players will compete in the tournament, which is going to take place from 20th to 28th October this year.

Federer (ATP 2) is the top player of the indoor tournament, which carries a total prize money of 2.442 million Euros. Last year, Federer won his eighth title at the Rhine. Croatian player Marin Cilic (ATP 3), the Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro (ATP 6), and the Belgian David Goffin (ATP 10) are also listed. The Basler organisers will also present a spectacular youngster, Canadian player Denis Shapovalov (ATP 45).

The Swiss Indoors will inaugurate the completely renewed St Jakob Hall – just as it happened 43 years ago. In 1975, the former emblematic player, Ilie Nastase, had the honour of being the first player to play in the brand new hall. Who will inaugurate the «Joggelihalle» this year? It won't be Roger Federer for sure. The local hero will play his first match on Tuesday just like in recent years. The «Super Monday» programme with show acts, music, and tennis will be presented later.

Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro, two former champions in Basel, will make Federer's life difficult on court. David Goffin also surprisingly defeated Federer indoors in autumn 2017 at the ATP World Tour Finals.

Basel Wolf will be the «smartest» area in Switzerland

The canton of Basel-Stadt and the Swiss federal railway company, SBB, have signed a planning agreement to mutually develop the Basel Wolf area to become the «smartest» in Switzerland. The area will become a pilot for a smart city-project. The goal is to make the area an innovation site for city projects.

Elisabeth Ackermann, president of the Basel-Stadt government, Hans-Peter Wessels, director of the Construction and Traffic Department, Andreas Meyer, CEO of SBB, and Alexander Muhm, manager of the development unit at SBB Immobilien, yesterday signed a planning agreement which aims to develop the area. 

The signing of the planning agreement includes the examination and implementation of pilot projects for smart city-purposes in mobility and logistics. SBB and the canton of Basel-Stadt want other economic and scientific partners to join in and the population to plan and implement projects.

SBB and the canton want to examine how digital communications, information technologies, and the usage of digital data can be employed for innovations in the comprehensive space development – together with other planning and design means as well as a stronger participation of all involved parties.

Exemplary innovation site for the region and beyond

The owner of the Wolf cargo train station today is the SBB. The area, which covers a space of 160,000 square metres, is currently underused in terms of railway operations. Over the next few years, parts of the area (around 100,000 m2) will be freed up for different usage. Due to the central and well-developed location, the area offers big potential for urban development, the SBB said in a statement.

The smart city-approach for the area is based on two strategies: «Smart City: A contribution by SBB» and the governmental strategy «Smart City Basel». Urbanisation is a big challenge for city and spatial planning. Digitalisation offers promising solutions to connect infrastructures and more efficiently design procedures in cities. It is the goal to reduce the consumption of resources despite a growing population and to increase the attraction of the location, competitiveness, and life quality in cities. Sustained development is the focus of such aims.

Motion for further bollards in the city centre

It is hoped that life quality in the city centre will be enhanced by the addition of six new sets of bollards. The bollards, at the access routes to the central area, make the traffic rules in the pedestrian friendly city centre clearer. Bollards also help the cantonal police and contribute to defending the city centre against a potential attack. The government approved of the additional bollards when it passed a motion to the Grand Council yesterday (Tuesday).

Bollards, which can be lowered and raised, have been in place at the top of Spalenberg since 2016 and regulate access to the pedestrian-friendly area of the city centre. Thanks to the «positive experience» of this pilot scheme, the government wants to install additional bollards at: Fischmarkt/Stadthausgasse, Freie Strasse, Rittergasse, Steinenvorstadt, and Kasernenstrasse. The bollards at Spalenberg will also be improved. The government is asking the Grand Council for 2.4 million francs to pay for the project. The annual operational and maintenance costs for all seven facilities are expected to cost 155,000 francs.

The city centre traffic concept will remain unchanged. However, experience so far has shown that the general driving ban after 11am is too often disregarded, according to the government. A few additional, strategically placed bollards can help, MPs believe. «The pilot facility at Spalenberg has shown that visitors recognise the driving ban thanks to the bollards and therefore keep to it. Bollards thus help the cantonal police to enforce the access rules», the motion stated.