1. The 4 pillar drug policy and city overview
In the past 20 years, the city of Zurich has repeatedly been faced with the (social) challenge of finding politically feasible and pragmatic solutions in dealing with drug use, prostitution and homelessness, which meet the needs of those involved and affected as well as the needs of local communities. Today, Zurich is one of the cities with the highest quality of life.
With the help of examples we present how the four pillar drug policy is working and what the actual challenges are.
Illegal drug use: Addiction cannot be banned, and displacement always goes from one to another place. Accordingly, alternatives have to be found: The supervised drug consumption facilities (SDCF). Key factors here (big picture):
1. The SDCF, emergency sleeping facilities and street kitchens (meeting points) are distributed throughout the city and have alternating complementary opening hours.
2. The environment of the facilities is worked on by the outreach work, including the involvement of the neighborhood.
3. The departments of the city support the policy; there are regular meetings and exchanges at all hierarchical levels.
Prostitution: Instead of prohibiting prostitution or moving the prostitution zone to the outskirts of the city back in 2013, the city opened a supervised prostitution area to minimize nuisances accompanying street prostitution. There, sex workers can safely provide their service. The women work in a safer and more regulated environment. They are no longer under constant control pressure from the pimps and have clean and adequate infrastructure.
How can the city of Zurich maintain the standard it has developed and shape its offerings to meet the needs of its clients well into the future? What are the challenges of today and how do we manage them?