The Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing (SIR) accompanies a cooperative process of developing areas for a future Ökopool. Together with the steering group - consisting of the Salzburg City and Surrounding Communities Regional Association, the City of Salzburg, the Province of Salzburg and the Salzburg Surrounding District Authority - such a model is currently in development.
The project focuses on identifying suitable areas for ecological compensation measures. The medium and long-term goal is to establish a regional Ökopool. The so-called eco accounts, which are common in Germany, serve as a basis for the local approach. The basic principle of such accounts is the early implementation of compensation measures - some of which the law requires - for structural interventions in landscape and nature (infrastructure projects etc.), which brings advantages:
- Compensation requirements can be easier steered into landscape conservation projects by specialist planning agencies at regional and municipal level.
- Cost savings by pooling competencies and financing resources in a common pool of areas and measures.
- Integration of individual project-related compensation measures into an overall concept that is coordinated with regional and local strategy and planning documents.
- Cooperation between the City of Salzburg and its surrounding municipalities if no suitable compensation areas are available in a municipality.
The model takes into account diverse spatial interdependencies within the peri-urban region of Salzburg and surrounding communities by working with diverse intercommunal partners.The Green Infrastructure (GI) approach serves as the European framework strategy. The European Commission describes GI as a way of counteracting increasing spatial fragmentation tendencies, in which several spatial functions are on the same area: in this sense, the Ökopool creates high-quality multifunctional areas that are simultaneously available for compensation requirements.
The Salzburg pilot project is currently in the extended concept phase. For the next steps, the project partners commissioned an external planning office, which will work closely with the steering group. The result is a vision plan, which will serve as the basis for following detailed planning of areas.
Find out more on: www.oekopool-sbg.at