From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

Oliver Streiff Gnöpff: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Name Dr. Oliver Streiff Gnöpff
St. Galler - Ring 208
4054 Basel
Telephone079 792 70 83
DepartmentHumanities, Social and Political Sciences

851-0703-00LIntroduction to Law
Students who have attended or will attend the lecture "Introduction to Law for Civil Engineering and Architecture " (851-0703-03L) or " Introduction to Law" (851-0708-00L), cannot register for this course unit.

Particularly suitable for students of D-MAVT, D-MATL
2 credits2VO.  Streiff Gnöpff
AbstractThis class introduces students into basic features of the legal system. Fundamental issues of constitutional law, administrative law, private law and the law of the EU are covered.
ObjectiveStudents are able to identify basic structures of the legal system. They unterstand selected topics of public and private law and are able to apply the fundamentals in more advanced law classes.
ContentBasic concepts of law, sources of law.
Private law: Contract law (particularly contract for work and services), tort law, property law.
Public law: Human rights, administrative law, procurement law, procedural law.
Insights into the law of the EU and into criminal law.
Lecture notesJaap Hage, Bram Akkermans (Eds.), Introduction to Law, Cham 2014 (Online Resource ETH Library)
LiteratureFurther documents will be available online (see
851-0703-04LLegal Rules in Urban Space Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 60

Particularly suitable for students of D-ARCH
2 credits2VO.  Streiff Gnöpff
AbstractLegal rules are tied to urban space. Illustrative is the relation between land ownership and urban morphology or between zoning and the functional dimension of urban space. Legal concepts (from property law, fundamental rights and administrative law) with spatial impacts are introduced and related to the theory of urban design. Moreover, it is discussed how these concepts shape specific places.
ObjectiveStudents recognize the interplay between legal structures and urban space. They can describe legal concepts with spatial impact. Moreover, they are able to compare legally binding targets with theoretical approaches in urban design. By analysing specific places, students learn to find relevant norms, to analyse and to judge them with regard to urban design theories. Thereby, they are able to distinguish design and policy questions.
ContentUsing the the term «lawscape» (Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos), we initially discuss general aspects of the interplay between legal rules and urban space.

The first part of the course is about the morphological dimension of urban space. We compare positions of urban planners like Trancik (Finding Lost Space) or Rowe/Koetter (Collage City) with property law. Freedom of property in turn contrasts to the theoretical approaches of Bernoulli (Die Stadt und ihr Boden) or Rossi (L'architettura della città). Using court decisions concerning nail houses, we study the tensions between urban development and the system of property ownership.

The second part of the course is about the functional dimension of urban space. Key concept is the zone (cf. CIAM 4). This concept is criticized (Wolfrum, Zoning Bien Défini). We compare the concept as well as the critique with the main concerns in spatial planning law. Environmental law and neighbouring rights are also relevant.

In the third part of the course, we work on the social, visual and temporal dimensions of urban space. The positions of Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities), Cullen (Townscape) or Lynch (The Presence of the Past) are compared with the dichotomy public space/private space, safety regulations, regulations on design reviews or heritage protection laws.

Working tools are theoretical texts, legal rules, court decisions as well as site analyses. Students undertake a case study in small groups. Selected case studies are presented and discussed in a final meeting.
Lecture notesSee Literature.
LiteratureDocuments will be available online (see
Prerequisites / NoticeNumber of participants limited to: 60