Space is a limited resource needed for a variety of purposes. This applies especially to the Alps, where less than 20% of the surface is suitable for human settlement. The remainder of the land is too steep, too high or too remote. Coordinating these demands in a sustainable way is key and must be done across country borders and sectors. A strong, committed cross-sectoral approach is needed to tackle the growing number of cross-cutting issues in spatial development and to strengthen the sustainable development of the Alpine Space.
Thus, the Contracting Parties of the Alpine Convention have defined the common goal to “ensure the economical and rational use of land and the sound, harmonious development of the whole region. Particular emphasis must be placed on natural hazards, the avoidance of under- and overuse and the conservation or rehabilitation of natural habitats by means of a thorough clarification and evaluation of land use requirements, anticipatory integral planning and coordination of the measures taken” (Framework Convention Art. 2, 2b).
Action Group 6 on the “Preservation and valorisation of natural resources, including water and cultural resources” of the EUSALP, which is led by the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention and the Province of Carinthia, deals with the topic of spatial planning in one of its subgroups.