Single-family house development is newly built on the edge of the settlement.

© Arthur Schindelegger

Completed Projects

The completed projects of the Research Unit Land Policy and Land Management can be found here.

Project List

Start: 14/12/2020  End: 13/05/2021

The Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning (ÖROK) publishes a Spatial Planning Report dealing with current developments and changes in spatial planning law and policy every three years. Dr Arthur Kanonier and Dr Arthur Schindelegger were commissioned to report on the changes in nominal and functional spatial planning law for the current reporting period 2018-2020.

Information about the latest Spatial Planning Report can be found on the ÖROK homepage., opens an external URL in a new window

Start: 01/10/2018 End: 30/09/2020

Housing plays an increasingly important role as a central field of action for climate protection measures. Currently, little attention is paid to sustainable mobility at residential locations, which has great potential for CO2 and energy saving and, contrary to many ambitious transport policy objectives, is not exploited. For holistic climate- and energy-efficient planning of residential locations, early consideration and planning of mobility issues and innovative mobility solutions is indispensable, since approximately 80% of all paths start at the residential location and end there. This is where the choice of means of transport is decided. Initial, as yet unevaluated, experience suggests that positive steering effects can be achieved, especially through private-law contractual arrangements (e.g. mobility contracts, funds, urban development contracts) between municipalities and project promoters (such as investors, developers, owners). At the moment, however, the development, application and evaluation of contractually regulated control and planning instruments are breaking new ground both nationally and internationally.

This is where the Urban MoVe research project comes in. By analysing and evaluating the first practical examples from Graz and Vienna, the project investigates the extent to which e.g. mobility contracts and mobility funds are suitable as control instruments for an interlinked and future-oriented urban and mobility planning system, and how these instruments could be developed or further improved in light of mobility innovations (e.g. sharing and electric mobility, mobility as a service, automated driving, etc.). The impacts and successes of previously implemented practical examples are analysed in Urban MoVe and form the basis for the legal, activity-related, actor-related and procedural redevelopment and advancement of the contractual control instruments. The first international best practice examples complete the picture and ensure the transferability of the project results.

Start: 01/11/2020  End: 31/03/2021

On 8 June, the parliament of the Italian province of South Tyrol passed a new Provincial Law on Spatial Planning and Landscape, which largely enters into force on 1 July 2020. The new law replaces the law on spatial planning and the law on landscape protection. Prof. Arthur Kanonier was commissioned to analyse the new South Tyrolean Spatial Planning Law, comparing it with Austrian spatial planning laws, with particular emphasis on land policy.  

In terms of housing development and land use, South Tyrol clearly faces comparable challenges to many Austrian municipalities and towns, which have been dealing with similar issues for years. An analysis of the new spatial planning regulations in South Tyrol is intended to show which solutions and strategies have been chosen by a neighbouring foreign legislature under spatial planning law in order to limit land consumption and urban sprawl. A comparison with corresponding spatial planning regulations in Austria should show possible complementarities, while considering the extent to which individual regulations are transferable.

Start: 01/07/2019  End: 30/06/2020

The aim of the baubehoerde.at project is to evaluate the opportunities and limitations of digitalization of processes in construction. Innovation potential, drivers and inhibiting factors are identified on the basis of a strategic analysis of the processes and actors of building authorities and digitalization measures in Austria and internationally. Working with authorities and representatives of the construction industry, a vision for a digital building authority will be developed using online and offline methods. A desired image of the building authority and of building processes will be defined in order to deflect attention away from the current situation towards a truly visionary ideal. Starting with this image, we think back to the present, describe the necessary steps and recommend a course of action.

For the full report, please visit: https://nachhaltigwirtschaften.at/resources/sdz_pdf/schriftenreihe-2020-44-baubehoerde-at.pdf, opens an external URL in a new window

Cover picture of the report baubehoerde.at

Start: 01/07/2019  End: 30/11/2019

In a study commissioned by the Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning (ÖROK), the Research Unit (Arthur Kanonier, Kurt Weninger) examined not only the legal provisions on plan presentation and requirements for accuracy in the various legal materials, but also the case law of the highest courts on plan presentations and the use of digital maps, and formulated corresponding conclusions and recommendations. 

Start: 01/08/2019  End: 30/09/2019

In 2019, the Federal Environment Agency commissioned the Research Unit to provide spatial planning support for work on the 2nd Progress Report on Adaptation to Climate Change in Austria. The project included an update of the first progress report from a spatial planning perspective. For the “Spatial planning” activity area of the 2nd progress report, the basic spatial planning system and the key instruments and measures of spatial planning were discussed, and the main reforms of the spatial planning laws of the Austrian federal states in recent years were addressed. In this context, state-specific regulations relating to natural hazard management, priority area categories for ecological functions and supra-local settlement boundaries, wind power programmes, integrated energy concepts in spatial planning, measures to mobilise building land, redensification and compaction strategies, restrictions on shopping centres and secondary residences, strengthening of town and city centres, and energy-saving spatial structures were discussed. 

For the complete report and further information, please visit the homepage of the Federal Ministry, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the 2nd Progress Report on Adaptation to Climate Change in Austria

Start: 01/08/2018  End: 31/01/2019

The Alpine Convention issues a Report on the State of the Alps at regular intervals. During the Austrian Presidency (2016-2019), particular attention was paid to dealing with natural hazards for the first time. Arthur Schindelegger supported the Alpine Convention’s working group on natural hazards (PLANALP) over three years with several workshops in order to draw up an analysis of the status quo on risk governance in the Alpine region on the one hand, and to draft the Report on the State of the Alps on the other. The final report was presented at the Alpine Conference in Innsbruck in 2019 and is available in English as well as in the other Alpine languages. The main objective is to reach the interested public and to help raise awareness of the subject. 

The complete report and further information can be found on the Homepage of the Alpine Convention, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the Seventh Report on the State of the Alps

Start: 02/11/2018  End: 30/12/2018

In 2018, UIV Urban Innovation Vienna GmbH was commissioned to organise an evaluation of several sites with regard to their suitability for a planned multi-purpose arena in Vienna. As a result, three proposed locations were analysed based on functional criteria, assessed and ranked with regard to their suitability as a site. 
Since spatial planning and land policy factors are relevant to the location and assessment of sites, the Research Unit Land Policy and Land Management (Arthur Kanonier) was invited to contribute.

When evaluating the three locations (Neu Marx, Donaufeld, Dusika Stadium), the parameters of urban development and urban planning in Vienna, the current uses, plot sizes and layouts of the different locations, the specific environment and the degree of sealing were identified and used as assessment criteria. 

For the complete findings report, please visit: https://www.urbaninnovation.at/tools/uploads/StandortbewertungMultifunktionsarena.pdf, opens an external URL in a new window

Cover picture of the results report on the site assessment of a multifunctional arena

Start: 15/11/2016  End: 31/12/2018

Natural hazards are a major constraint on spatial development, especially in alpine areas. Preventive measures have long been applied to try and minimise risks for the population so as to ensure safe living conditions and development potential. Traditional sectoral approaches, which are primarily reflected in highly legalised procedures, are increasingly reaching their limits. Based on the concept of natural hazard management, attempts have been made to improve coordination between planning authorities. The focus is now directed towards governance as an alternative control method that is intended to achieve accepted and innovative solutions. The status quo of governance processes in the prevention of natural hazard impacts is a largely new aspect of the research focus, and no comprehensive comparative studies have been conducted in this regard, particularly in the Alpine region. In the areas of precautionary land management, technical measures and disaster control, risk can be significantly reduced by efficient preventive measures and, besides formal-normative procedures, greater attention needs to be paid to governance aspects. This study presents a governance mapping in the Eusalp region for prevention against alpine natural hazards as well as a selection of good practice examples.

For further information, visit the EUSALP website, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the publication Risk Governance in the context of natural hazards

Start: 20/08/2017  End: 30/09/2018

The status quo of governance processes in the prevention of natural hazard impacts is a largely new aspect of the research focus, and no comprehensive comparative studies have been conducted in this regard, particularly in the Alpine region. In the areas of precautionary land management, technical measures and disaster control, risk can be significantly reduced by efficient preventive measures and, besides formal-normative procedures, greater attention needs to be paid to governance aspects. This study presents a governance mapping in the Eusalp region for prevention against alpine natural hazards as well as a selection of good practice examples.

For further information, visit the EUSALP website, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the Policy Brief on Risk Governance in the Context of Natural Hazards

Start: 05/03/2018  End: 30/09/2018

In 1998, ÖROK issued a publication on spatial planning in Austria (ÖROK publication no. 137), which provides an “overview of Austria’s state structure and the distribution of areas of competence in all matters of spatial planning and regional policy”, “also discussing the latest developments in Austrian spatial planning law.” After almost 20 years – and the changes caused by the long lapse of time – and in view of Austria’s upcoming EU presidency in the second half of 2018, a fundamental revision and update of the publication is planned. As a result of the project, a publishable overview of the current state of spatial planning in Austria should be available, with a separate chapter devoted to EU regional policy in Austria. The main aim of the publication is to provide a systematic overview of current competencies and institutions, objectives and concerns, planning levels, measures and instruments, procedures and processes, and the current challenges of spatial planning in Austria. Given all the divergences in the prevailing planning system due to the dissimilar allocation of competencies, the goal is to provide a clear technical basis and orientation guide for spatial planning in its various forms.

Further information can be found on the ÖROK homepage, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the publication Raumordnung in Österreich

Start: 24/04/2018  End: 30/09/2018

The Spatial Development Report (Raumordnungsbericht – “ROB”) is a comprehensive report on ÖROK members’ activities relevant to spatial development, including analyses and presentations on spatial development and regional policy in Austria. It is published by ÖROK, usually every three years. Following the implementation of the Austrian Spatial Development Concept “ÖREK 2011”, the ROB has also assumed an important role in relation to the continuous and comparable monitoring of spatial development and the implementation of ÖREK 2011 in the form of “ÖREK partnerships”.

For the 15th ROB, the concept was updated on the basis of the results of an interim evaluation of ÖREK 2011. It was decided to retain certain key features: the 3-year publication cycle (the current reporting period is 2015-2017) and the aim of providing as broad a representation as possible of planning activities in Austria. In 2018, the Research Unit (Arthur Kanonier, Arthur Schindelegger) was commissioned to prepare the 4th chapter, which provides an overview of current developments and trends in Austrian spatial planning law. It is based mainly on ÖROK’s Law Chronicle (Rechtschronik), establishing a cross-sectoral and cross-level approach.

The 15th Spatial Planning Report can be found here, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the 15th Spatial Planning Report

Start: 01/12/2017  End: 30/09/2018

In 2017, the Research Unit was commissioned to prepare a study on “Parking regulations in Lower Austria” for the towns of Amstetten, Krems, St. Pölten, Hollabrunn, Tulln, Schwechat and Mödling. The study covered the legal framework, the related scope for action and functional aspects, in order to provide an objective analysis of parking regulations based on national and international regulations and examples. The recommended approach is based on the concept of ‘public transport quality classes’ and the central zones provided for in the Lower Austrian Spatial Planning Law, and was implemented for the first time by the town of St. Pölten in 2019. The town was awarded the VCÖ Mobility Prize in the same year. 

For the project report, please visit: https://www.krems2030.at/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Stellpl%c3%a4tze_N%c3%96_Studie_22102018-1.pdf, opens an external URL in a new window

Start: 02/11/2017  End: 31/03/2018

Section 16 of the Vorarlberg Spatial Planning Law (Vlbg RplG) sets out, in considerable regulatory detail, the legal framework for the construction and use of holiday homes in Vorarlberg. In particular, it defines criteria for specific uses as part of municipal zoning planning. Furthermore, Section 16a (4) Vlbg RplG obliges the state government – subject to certain conditions – to issue regulations determining the maximum allowable share of holiday homes per municipality (holiday home quota). In connection with the holiday home quota, the law allows for gradations between municipalities: “In this regulation, for municipalities with structural weaknesses, such as municipalities with declining population trends, for example, a higher share may be specified if this does not jeopardise the objectives pursued by the holiday home quota.”

A holiday home quota per municipality has not (yet) been decreed by the Vorarlberg state government. Since the substantive criteria for the setting of specific holiday home quotas by the state government in Section 16a (4) Vlbg RplG are kept very general (“insofar as this is necessary to achieve the spatial planning objectives according to Section 2, in particular to ensure the space needed to meet year-round housing demand”), it is generally to be assumed that the state government will have a certain planning leeway, with technical justification of quantitative quotas being necessary in line with the requirement of objectivity. The study will set out proposals for possible holiday home quotas based on a comparison of corresponding regulations in selected federal states and in other German-speaking countries.

In addition to justifications of the respective thresholds for holiday homes, previous experiences of defined holiday home quotas will be gathered in order to produce recommendations for Vorarlberg.

Start: 01/12/2017  End: 28/02/2018

The project outline for the ÖREK partnership “Strengthening of town and city centres” issued in March 2017 states that “the inner development of a community or town is the challenge of the 21st century.” It says that “the development of town and city centres is crucial for a sustainable settlement structure in Austria.” In this context it is necessary to examine implementation-focused measures whereby, in particular, the relevant instruments for revitalising inner cities and town centres can be improved.

In 2017, Arthur Kanonier was commissioned by ÖROK to provide legal support for the OREK partnership, which included a screening and comparative compilation of town and city-specific regulations at state level with a focus on spatial planning, building law and housing subsidies. Essentially, those legal regulations are listed that relate directly to town and city centres, with an extensive overview devoted to the topic of “town and city image”. 

Further information can be found on the ÖROK homepage, opens an external URL in a new window

Cover of the study on the strengthening of town and city centres

Start: 01/11/2016  End: 28/02/2017

The study analysed and evaluated the current regulatory framework for shopping centres, especially in town centres, and ‘suitability zones’ (Eignungszonen) in Vorarlberg. In particular, criteria for the selection of municipalities with suitability zones, criteria for the demarcation of suitability zones and the legal effect of suitability zones are examined. The spatial planning regulations for shopping centres in town centres and suitability zones in Vorarlberg are compared with spatial planning criteria in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, focusing on the town-centre-specific regulatory framework and technical-legal criteria for the selection of municipalities with suitability zones, the demarcation of suitability zones and their legal effect. Based on the Austria-wide and international comparison, actions required in Vorarlberg with regard to the control of shopping centres in town centres and their suitability zones are identified.

Start: 23/10/2016  End: 31/12/2016

In 2016, the Research Unit was commissioned by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce to conduct a study on “Spatial planning criteria for the approval of shopping centres (spatial impact assessment) – action required in Vienna”. The study takes a closer look at the following aspects in connection with shopping centres, using the term “shopping centre” as a collective term for different forms of large-scale retail establishments (e.g. hypermarkets, specialist stores, shopping centres): 
– Analysis and evaluation of the current regulatory framework for shopping centres in Vienna
– Comparison of legal licensing regulations for shopping centres in Vienna with spatial planning criteria for shopping centres in Austria, Germany and Switzerland
– Focusing, based on the criteria examined, on the handling of needs assessments and any changes in revenue as well as on the definition and use of threshold values for shopping centres
– Action recommended in Vienna with regard to the control of shopping centres based on the Austrian and international comparison. 

Start: 01/02/2016  End: 31/12/2016

ÖREK 2011 states that sustainable housing development begins with the careful use of land. In this context, control methods include, in particular, greater interlinking of development concepts, zoning, development planning and active land policy. The ÖREK partnership “Reducing land take, land management and active land policy” is devoted to this subject, in order to produce relevant recommendations. In 2016, the Research Unit was commissioned by ÖROK to provide technical and legal support to the ÖREK partnership for the preparation of spatial planning recommendations. Support was provided by reviewing and editing existing recommendations, position papers and problem-solving approaches, and in particular by proposing recommendations. 

The report and further information can be found on the ÖROK homepage, opens an external URL in a new window.

Cover of the publication of the ÖROK recommendations on land saving

Beginn: 01.04.2016  Ende: 29.05.2016

Start: 25/02/2015  End: 20/07/2015

On behalf of the state government of Lower Austria, Arthur Kanonier analysed the nine different spatial planning systems of the federal states with regard to their regulations and measures concerning the resource-conserving use of land and the prevention of urban sprawl, and derived examples of good and best practice. The comparison provides a systematic overview of the depth, density and diversity of regulation. Selected regulations from Germany and Switzerland are also analysed.

Following the comparison of different approaches to regulations and instruments, recommendations and proposals for improving the Lower Austrian spatial planning system are developed. Actual implementation, taking the current framework conditions into account, is vitally important. 

Start: 10/10/2014  End: 31/03/2015

The aim of the FloodRisk-E(valuation) project is to evaluate the implementation status of recommendations from the sub-projects FloodRisk I (analysis of flood events in August 2002) and FloodRisk II ( deepening and linking of forward-looking strategies to implement an integrated flood risk management) taking into account the implementation of the Floods Directive.

This evaluation is intended to analyse the implementation success of the extensive and far-reaching measures and recommendations for action made in the above-mentioned studies by experts with regard to their impact. If the evaluation reveals a need for further action to improve integrated flood management, the evaluation prepared during the FloodRisk-E project would provide a basis for possible follow-up activities (e.g. FloodRisk III).

The goal of the work carried out within the scope of this assignment is to provide specialist coordination of the subject areas of legal aspects and spatial planning within the FloodRisk-E project, and to support the preparation of a coordinated synthesis report.

Further information and the results report can be found on the homepage of the Federal Ministry, opens an external URL in a new window

Cover of the publication on FloodRisk-E(valuations)

 

Risk management for gravitational natural hazards in spatial planning

01/07/2014 – 31/03/2015

Risk management for gravitational natural hazards in spatial planning.

 

Zoning in Seveso III zones

03/12/2014 – 30/01/2015

Expert opinion: Handling of existing building land within the Seveso protection area under the new Tyrolean Spatial Planning Law (TROG).

 

Handling of social/subsidised housing

12/08/2013 – 31/10/2013

Handling of social/subsidised housing under Austrian planning law

 

Zoning category “subsidised housing”

05/08/2013 – 30/10/2013

Catalogue of requirements for the zoning category of “subsidised housing” in the context of implementation of the SRO+ approach.

 

Gravitational processes in federal law and in the federal states

08/10/2012 – 30/06/2013

Study on the legal basis of protection against gravitational processes (mudslides, avalanches, rockfalls, landslips) in federal law and spatial planning law, and building law of the federal states.

 

Securing space for linear infrastructure

16/12/2011 – 30/08/2012

Study of technical principles for securing space for linear infrastructure projects.

 

Lower Austrian Spatial Planning Law NEW – draft and consultation

15/03/2010 – 30/04/2011