Bodenfreiheit - Verein zur Erhaltung von Freiräumen
Contact person: Martin Strele
- Environmental project
- Volunteers are welcome.
The society “Ground Clearance”, founded in 2011, aims at the long-term maintenance or creation of eco-friendly, natural environments. We are concerned with landscaping and town and country planning, we want plots of land with particular social or cultural importance to remain as non built-up areas. Moreover, the association aims to raise public awareness of the value of open spaces and undeveloped areas for the environment, nature and wildlife conservation and for the general public.
Due to its topography and climate, only a fifth of the area of Voralberg can be inhabited throughout the year. Land is a scarce commodity and we have to use it sparingly. Every day, an average of 1,500m2 of greenfield sites are turned over to residential use. Voralberg's open spaces are rapidly disappearing. Places which were for public use are being replaced by commercial and private spaces.
The “Ground Clearance” organisation wants to contribute towards a change, and to point the way to a different approach to land in our country. We would like to initiate a broad discussion about the future development of residential areas and to be active in this regard.
What do we want?
• We want to set an example, as far as the preservation of open spaces is concerned. To this end, we look for people willing to spare a contribution of at least 10€ a month. With the proceeds, we purchase important undeveloped plots which have planning permission to be built on. These areas will be kept permanently open and accessible to the public.
• In addition to the actual purchase of land, we want to show that many Voralberg citizens are thinking about land conservation. Thus we support political decisions which favour dealing with land sparingly.
• The mobilisation of land already zoned for building, building on brownfield sites, using vacant plots, and the innovative use of tax mechanisms are among the strategies which we need to meet the challenges.
What happens to the free spaces?
• The land acquired by “Ground Clearance” will be used according to its importance to society. It is not an individual's profit which takes precedence, but the usefulness to society at large.
• Depending on the location and requirements of the use of the acquired land, geographical, social, cultural, spatial planning, landscaping and aesthetic aspects will be taken into consideration. Community gardens, alternative agricultural use, adventure playgrounds, sledding hills, open football fields, meadows, habitats, etc. are examples of possible future uses.
• Central to this is that the area is guaranteed to remain free from development. These public and undeveloped islands in the "sea of privacy" should provide food for thought about the use of our space and show the true value of these areas.
Martin Strele is the president of “Ground Clearance”.
On request we can offer other net participants advice, give a presentation, and provide up-to-date information and contacts in the field of our work.