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The task of spatial planning is foresighted design according to plan with a view to ensuring the best possible use of the human habitat and environment.
There are no legislative provisions for spatial planning at the Austrian federal level. The coordination of federal and regional interests lies in the hands of ÖROK, the Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning.




In Austria, laws on spatial planning are passed in the nine federal provinces which are also responsible for their implementation. The most important framework is provided by the Styrian Territorial Planning Act which was newly introduced in 2010.
The following tools are used at the provincial level:

At local level, the Austrian communities are in charge of spatial planning (local spatial planning) using the following tools:



Grafik © ABT17
© ABT17

Various players/institutions and bodies are involved in drawing up and designing thematic concepts and/or programmes at regional level. The following chart shows the parties involved and the roles they play.
The regions develop regional development models. Based on a brief presentation of strengths/weaknesses of the planning region, they develop the regional public interest in terms of development goals, measures and projects. Thanks to the spatial allocation, spatially functional development goals for the region are derived from this.

In the 2007 - 2013 structural funds period, Styria is actively involved in various programmes of EU regional policy:

Objective "Regional Competitiveness of Styria" (Regionale Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Steiermark, RWB)
In addition to promoting an economy based on innovation and knowledge, the focus is on strengthening the attractiveness of regions and locations.

Objective "European Territorial Cooperation" (Europäische Territoriale Zusammenarbeit, ETZ)
The development of cross-border, economic and social projects is facilitated in bilateral programmes (former INTERREG IIIA). Styria is involved in two programmes of cross-border cooperation:

The transnational cooperation programmes aim at creating and promoting transnational cooperation of regions within pre-defined space of cooperation (former INTERREG IIIB).

  • Alpine Region
  • Central Europe
  • South-East Europe

European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development EAFRD/ELER: Axis 4 LEADER

The Leader approach is a bottom-up approach aiming to build local capacity for employment and diversification of the rural economy. It has a multi-sector design and the implementation of the strategy is based on the interaction between actors from different sectors of the local economy. Local action groups (LAGs) implement the local development strategy.
Of these, the Leader axis within the EAFRD will contribute to the priorities of the other axes and will also play an important role for improving governance and to enhance the endogenous development potential of rural areas. There are currently 19 LAG´s implemented in Styria.




The Styrian spatial information system or RaumInformationsSystem (RaumIS) regards itself as a new, web-based, comprehensive module for systematic, ongoing monitoring of spatial development in Styria.

The spatial planning information system has three basic branches:

Ongoing monitoring of spatial development

Regional information

Basis of planning

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