Cross-Border Landscape Vision

Working Group 1: Cross-Border Landscape Vision

Bratislava team: Attila Tóth, Viera Joklová, LNI coordinator(s): Ellen Fetzer

The border landscape between the urban region of Bratislava in Slovakia and the rural region of Lower Austria and Burgenland in Austria has a unique character. But it is also representative for many other border areas in Europe. Urban structures from the growing capital city meet a low-density agricultural area. For centuries, this has been one landscape, under Austro-Hungarian rule. The Iron Curtain has separated this landscape for more than 40 years until 1989. Separation continues until today. Decision-making on the landscape is spread across stakeholders, land use sectors and administrative boundaries. There is a high danger that existing landscape qualities will be lost forever if there is no coordinated action towards a shared landscape vision.

Our working group ‘cross-border landscape vision’ will focus on the qualities and potentials of a transboundary zone that does not have a name yet. We will try to formulate a general framework for a sustainable landscape development, making use of the results of the international student competition that is preceding the landscape forum.
The landscape vision will certainly build on the existing green infrastructure elements of this region. The border zone of Bratislava belongs to the European Green Belt and includes the river Danube.

“Green infrastructure is a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services such as water purification, air quality, space for recreation and climate mitigation and adaptation. This network of green (land) and blue (water) spaces can improve environmental conditions and therefore citizens’ health and quality of life. It also supports a green economy, creates job opportunities and enhances biodiversity. The Natura 2000 network constitutes the backbone of the EU green infrastructure.” (European Commission, DG Environment).

Study and planning area
The study area comprises the City of Bratislava, the neighbouring rural regions in Austria (Burgenland, Lower Austria) and the connection to the landscape in Hungary.

Our guiding questions:

  • Which forces are currently driving landscape change and with what impact?
  • What are the important green and blue infrastructure elements of this transboundary region?
  • What are weaknesses and threats to the existing ecological and landscape network?
  • How can a landscape vision contribute to sustainable development of the city and the rural landscape along the border?
  • Which process do we need in order to achieve the vision?

Planned results

  • A landscape concept (represented on a map) for the cross border region and the city of Bratislava as a whole.
  • A strategy for developing the landscape concept and integrating it in the spatial planning process of Bratislava and its surroundings.
  • A roadmap for including local stakeholders, inhabitants into this process.