Events for October
M T W T F S S
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
Add your event FREE

Today


Videos


Polls


Cosmo and Nanu - Hey Cool


Cosmo and Nanu

Austrian land being built on at an alarming rate

An average of 20 hectares of agricultural and green land is built on each day in Austria – that's the equivalent surface of an average cultivated farm per day. Experts are asking for a change in the planning law and are calling for more cooperation between municipalities in construction projects.

The president of the agricultural chamber Gerhard Wlodlowski said recently that it is almost exclusively high-quality agricultural lands that end up as building projects.

Compared to European statistics, the building on agricultural land in Austria is higher than average. In the past 50 years, the agricultural land available fell by 300,000 hectares and meadowland went back 570,000 hectares – the equivalent of a city the size of Salzburg. At the same time, the number of abandoned industries and commercial premises shot up. These could cover one third of the space needed each year.

Only a third of the mountain land in Austria is suitable as a settling place – 15 percent of which is already used. Wlodowski said: "Everyday around 11 hectares of agricultural land is used for transport, industry, economy and housing. If one counts the recreational and mining areas, that is over 20 hectares a day."

The increasing building has negative impact on the environment and climate. Meadows and agricultural land are responsible for various functions, such as regulating the ecosystem. These are also the living space for animals and plants act as a protective measure in holding back or saving rain water. They take part in conserving biodiversity and  storing carbon. Last but not least, they are a living and relaxation space for humans.

With every modification to the CO2-rich soils, the climate – and the global warming – is accelerated and the risks of storms increases. Chairman of the Austrian Hagel insurance company (Hagelversicherung) said the consumption of the land urgently needs to slow down.

Gerling Weber from the institute for spatial planning at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU) asked on public radio that planning laws are changed. One should build sparingly, instead of always building on new meadowland. He said: "First of all, always look at what is available. And then, go for the meadowland. At the moment, it's the opposite."

He added that political motives often prevent efficient construction. He said: "The bigger the competition is between the communities, the more yielding they become with regards to the offering of such plots of land – which absolutely does not conform with the ground sparing regulations."

President of the eco-social forum Stephan Pernkopf said: "Active space policies is not only important because of ecological factors." The growing urban sprawl leads to rising costs. Compact housing structures are, on the contrary, a great relief for budgets.

Environment minister Nikolaus Berlakovich (ÖVP) doesn't believe the municipality policy is failing. There the belief that usage of ground should be slowed-down and planning laws are already being modified. He said: "There are already positive examples in all regions of planning projects whereby resources and energy consumption are reduced.

Berlakovich asks fore more cooperation between the communities to spare meadowland. He said: "the land must be worked on together, efficiently used – in the housing for individuals but also in creating new economical zones."

Vienna Times






Tag cloud:
meadowland  environment  laws  communities  space  projects  Berlakovich  relief  Austria  Austrian  housing  climate  Resources  agricultural  hectares  sparingly  Wlodlowski  equivalent  municipalities  consumption


Latest News

 

MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.

Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.

Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.

Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.

Beekeeping is booming in Vienna
People living in Vienna have got a new hobby - beekeeping.

Queen of Englands favourite horses used as lawnmowers in Vienna
Horses from the famous Spanish Riding School are being used to help keep the grass down in city parks in Vienna.

Get an early start on the American Independence Day celebrations at Eton Institute
Get an early start on the American Independence Day celebrations at Eton Institute

Penguin Babies Earn Their Feathers At Zoo
These feathered friends are the latest additions to the penguin enclosure at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo.

Sex On The Underground Station Filmed By Passenger
The fact that there were CCTV cameras in place or the fact that a train packed with passengers had pulled into the station didn't seem to bother this couple caught having sex in public at an underground train station in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Jobless Footballers Join Dole Rangers To Showcase Their Talent
Austria's job centres are entering the big league - by creating a football team to allow jobless footballers to showcase their talent and get work.

 


Rieders Digests


The most popular stories –
last 7 days