The Linth Correction: an example of large land acquisition in the 19th century at the expense of rivers
Cartographica Helvetica 23 (2001) 27–34
Those regions of Switzerland which used to be non-arable and unproductive flood areas around the 1800s are today the most densely populated, intensively used industrial areas with the greatest volume of traffic. The circumstances leading to the most lasting and influential civil changes in Switzerland's landscape of valleys and rivers were initiated by the river corrections of the 19th century. The Linth Correction was a pioneer project lasting from 1807 to 1816/23. The history of its construction is at the same time a chapter in the social, cultural and, yes, even the landscape history of Switzerland at the threshold of the modern age.
In 1804 Hans Conrad Escher (1767–1823) was elected president of the experts committee. He supervised the project execution: the Linth River in the Canton of Glarus (Escher Canal) was diverted into Lake of Walenstadt (the Walensee) which acted as a natural reservoir. From there the tamed Linth (Linth Canal) flowed into Lake Zurich. In order to finance this enormous project, a stockholder company was founded – a novelty for Switzerland.