The Research Studio iSPACE designed a transfer and stakeholder workshop on the topic of “Modeling the demand for building land and housing” with representatives of the province of Salzburg on March 17, 2021 online as part of the Center for Alpine Building.

Due to the topographical and climatic conditions of the alpine region, an efficient and sustainable use of available resources in terms of land use and energy efficiency as well as infrastructure utilization is a major challenge for the future, especially in the Salzburg region. The availability of building land in alpine regions is limited. It is therefore all the more important to use these areas efficiently. In this respect, the topic of land management and solutions aimed at the internal development of existing settlement areas are coming to the fore.

In the course of the Center for Alpine Construction, GIS models have been developed in the research area Simulation of Settlement Systems, which allow an estimation of the expected demand for residential land on a community level. One model serves to show the current residential building structure and the existing potentials in the residential building land of a municipality. Another model estimates the future demand for housing on a regionalized basis, based on the demographic development of a municipality and the change in household sizes. Based on this, the focus is on linking the housing demand, the housing structure and the potentials in the housing land at the municipality level.

A special focus is on the development of an interactive web-map for the dynamic simulation of housing land demand and availability in strong accordance with the current guideline for the spatial development concept. This web map makes it possible to simulate the demand for residential land in municipalities for a planning horizon of 25 years. It offers planners the possibility to make assumptions on the future development of the housing structure as well as to edit areas directly. The results have been implemented for the first pilot municipalities and were discussed with representatives of the Province of Salzburg – Department of Spatial Planning during the workshop and checked for their practicability. The results are transferable across the board.

“Due to its specific topographical and climatic conditions, the alpine region has special challenges with regard to a resource-saving settlement development. With the presented GIS models and tools, the topic of land management can be concretized for municipalities ” describes Thomas Prinz (deputy head of the Center for Alpine Construction).