Switzerland has roughly 8 million inhabitants. To accurately predict how many inhabitants there will be in 2048 is not possible, as too many national and global factors are involved. However, if we extrapolate from the past 5 years, there would be close to 16 million inhabitants. Even if this is on the high side, with current estimates being 12-14 million people looking at the past 50 years, it is clear that this increase in population will put enormous pressure on the existing urban, suburban and rural areas.
As our population increases and the territory we occupy and transform expands, existing classifications such as city, agglomeration, sub-urb, agricultural land, wildness etc. are put into question. With urban areas merging, what belongs to a suburb, a city, a larger agglomeration? With land becoming scarce in some areas – which functions can coexist? Can agriculture be brought back to urban areas to any reasonable extent? Can we still consider certain areas wild or do they rather resemble a large park, surrounded by urbanized areas? What to do with increasing waste? What will become of areas that are dedensifying?