S AM Swiss Architecture Museum presents the exhibition Swim City, which draws attention to a particular contemporary phenomenon in urban space: river swimming as a mass movement – a 21st-century Swiss invention. Cities like Basel, Bern, Zurich and Geneva have been gradually making the river accessible as a natural public resource within the built environment for decades, which has turned the river into a place of leisure, located right on residents’ doorsteps and firmly anchored in everyday life.
The rest of the world looks on in awe at the bathing culture in the Rhine, Aare, Limmat and Rhone. Here, cities such as Paris, Berlin, London and New York see an example of how they can reclaim their rivers as a spatial resource, so as to sustainably improve the quality of people’s lives.
- River swimming in Basel. Photo by Lucía de Mosteyrín.