Water and Sewage
Green Blue
Buildings & land use
Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Project summary

Name of the case study
Spatial planning - a holistic approach

Where is it located?

What type of activity is it?
Spatial planning procedures and the development of related policies

Short description of the case study
The planning procedures within the land use planning unit need to regard other planning programmes and laws from both higher and lower level planning. Several planning and programming documents, such as the urban development programme, the land utilisation plan and development plans have to come after this requirement. These represent relevant planning procedures and programmes for the municipal level. Each municipality is in principle called upon to provide such documents. Moreover, their contents need to comply with higher level programmes, e.g. the Styrian Regional Planning Act. These documents include not only regulations but also procedural steps and indicators for the planners core work. Because of its holistic nature, the planning procedures, the preparation of policies and the development of technical programmes (e.g. open space plan) need to refer to important cross-cutting issues (e.g. climate, noise etc.).

A set of indicators and criteria support the decision making process. They are designed to comply with the legal framework and to meet the requirements for dealing with other stakeholders. The motivation to use and update supportive tools is to try to arrange with changing situations (changes of the urban pattern, interest groups) and to achieve new argumentation to come after the ever-growing enquiries about environmental and spatial development concerns.

Given the incremental stages for a development plan the necessary steps include an analysis of the situation and with respect to that a description of intentions and aims for the planned project. At that stage different data and information comes in as well as indicators to do an evaluation.
Major motivations for using and adapting existing tools and procedures are to:
• provide a tool to plan in a more holistic and sustainable way,
• have the possibility to act rather than react, and
• establish flexibility in decision making and
• provide additional argumentation
There is also growing demand to provide participatory approaches to inform and exchange with the public. The requirements from the planning side are to provide comprehensive information made available by the planning unit, gathering feedback from the public and including it in the decision making process. In the near future provisions for development plans are to be changed, namely the participation in the planning process. The idea is to be prepared to react on exceptions. One recent example has been a case about introducing a new stakeholder participatory process, the "public opinion / planning cell" (more information on the planning cell and participation on the following website: ).

This case study was chosen because of the holistic nature and cross-sectoral approach, and due to the nature of the planning process in that it refers to sustainable development. The case study relates to the debate on participatory processes which is contained within many of the key problems.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

Indicators and procedures for Spatial Planning

More information

Click here for a full description (pdf)