Styria is part of the Republic of Austria and it is the second largest Land of the Federal Republic with 1.207.000 inhabitants. Styria has a very different landscape – from the alpine region in the northwest (Dachstein 2.995m) to the hilly region in the southeast. The “green heart” of Austria (61% of land-cover is forest) is famous for its winter sports attractively as well as for the thermal region and the “Weinland” (vine) at the southern border to Slovenia, sometimes known as the “Tuscany of Austria”. The state capital of Styria is Graz, the second largest city of Austria. In the Europe scale is the region known as main corridors for the mammals which crossing area from the southwest to the northeast.
Location and largeness: In scale of 1.640.000 hectares is the 2nd largest state of Austria, wider region of the capital Graz and in the alpine region to the main valleys of the rivers Mur, Mürz and Enns.
Status: Protected area
Project partner active in the area:
Issues / challenges:
- In central areas of Styria, e.g. around Graz, economic region Leoben-Bruck-Kapfenberg, Aichfeld-Murboden or Weiz-Gleisdorf, residential areas, economic sector and infrastructure are growing and dividing habitats.
- Settlements divide main corridors for mammals (on the European scale), which are crossing Styria from southwest to northeast.
- Most development activities are now set outside protected areas. Therefore, from spatial planning perspective, the focus has to be put on ensuring connectivity between habitats by building up a “green network”.
- The relevant “green areas” (habitats) defined in protected and non-protected areas throughout the country and in relevant areas of neighbouring countries (Slovenia, Carinthia, Salzburg, Upper- and Lower Austria and Burgenland).
- The “green network” identified (main ecological corridors between habitats) on the regional scale 1:50.000.
- The main barriers for connectivity analysed with regard to settlements and infrastructure in order to avoid new building areas in so called “hot spots” for the connectivity (“bottlenecks”).
- Sustainable functionality of green areas ensured by coordinating the different functions such as ecology, protection against natural risks, recreation and tourism.
- Developed measures and adopted regional spatial plans, regulations of the provincial government of Styria concerning ecology, landscape, natural resources, settlement, industry, etc.
- Special emphasis given to capacity building in the field of habitat connectivity for planners and authorities of traffic infrastructure, water management and spatial planning on local and regional levels.