Sustainable lans use: Approaches for an internal development of natural, semi-natural and urban landscapes
Paper in proceedings, 2008
Our built environments drive human, organisational and regional productivity and contribute to the national economy. During the last decades the development of our surroundings has led to a worldwide phenomenon that has often been associated with prosperity and quality of life: urban sprawl. But what is the price we have to pay for it? The impacts of urban sprawl to our Natural Capital and to the dimensions of sustainability (integrative perspective, intragenerational and intergenerational equity) are significant.
There is growing recognition that internal prior to external development of our built environments is an appropriate strategy to encounter a further increase of land use. In this regard, important questions emerge in three main fields. Land use: How did the landscape as well as its use evolve? How will it develop in future? Driving forces: What are the driving forces of urban development? Which stakeholders are involved? Approaches: What kind of planning and regulation approaches are adequate to slow up or even stop the trend of land use? How well are these instruments known by the planning authorities?
For the case of Switzerland, the paper will analyse and discuss today’s situations for these three fields. It will demonstrate that efforts on several levels are needed in order to reach a sustainable land use and that there are ways to face the continuous settlement expansion. However, a Swiss-wide survey amongst selected municipal and cantonal planners revealed that there is an insufficient awareness and implementation of both already existing and innovative instruments.
sustainable land use