Although prostitution is legal in Switzerland, critics say the law actually offers little protection to the women themselves.
For several years, some areas right in the heart of the town, most notably Sihlquai - a street running away from the main station - have been home to a very lively sex trade.
"They get into cars with men they don't know, and they don't know where they will be taken," explains Ursula Kocher, who runs an advice centre for sex workers. "They get driven out of the city, into a forest, away from anywhere."
There have been a number of cases of violence, and of women being robbed.
Now the city has come up with a solution it believes will protect them: soliciting on the streets will be forbidden, and instead prostitutes and their clients will be expected to use a custom-built compound on an industrial site in the Zurich suburbs.
The facility opens this week; inside the gates, which are manned by security guards, there is a "strip" which men can drive down, and select the woman of their choice.
There are trees, coloured lights, and benches to sit on, all designed to create an atmosphere which Michael Herzig of the Zurich social services says should not be too "sad".
But since all business must take place inside the compound, there are drive-in "sex boxes", and here the measures taken to protect the women are very apparent.