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Sustainable Land Management Data Tool Available from CircUse

Software to help implement sustainable land use is available in English

The Circular Flow Land Use Management (CircUse) project in which the Difu is involved has created a land management data tool to be used by city administrations and land use decision makers to pursue sustainable land use management. This software is currently available as a “Standard Version” in English for free on the project webpage.

CircUse will establish a new governance and policy approach which can be best summed up by the slogan “reduce – recycle – compensate”. The consumption of new land should be reduced as much as possible to help save vital soil resources, unused or underutilized land parcels recycled back into use, and compensation (for example additional conservation) offered where expansive development cannot be avoided. To support this idea a data management tool was developed within the CircUse project which promotes sustainable land management structures.

The land management data tool – developed by Project Partners at the Saxon State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology – supports the implementation of this philosophy by offering a platform to map the opportunities available to implement the CircUse principle. The tool works by receiving input from site studies and visits conducted by local stakeholders. The surveyor fills out a standardized form to mark the current type of land as either “greenfields with development perspectives”, “vacant and underutilized land”, “gaps in built-up areas” or as “brownfields” as well as the type of former use.

Based upon these criteria, the program provides potential designations for the site e.g. “suitable for construction”, “suitable for construction with some reservations”, “potential sites for renaturalisation” or “planned urban expansions that can be cancelled”. This helps planners receive an overview of the potentials of the city or region in question and allows them to concentrate their efforts on feasible projects. It is noted in the program that the actual use cannot be determined by the program. Instead, this is specifically left for the planner to decide based upon local considerations.

The land use management tool is based upon Microsoft Access 2007 since this program is more widely available among city administrations and other stakeholders in land use decisions. Also, ACCESS 2007 supports the importation and exportation of information to and from EXCEL allowing for a cross sectional analysis to take place. An “Advanced Version” of the tool currently being developed will allow for integrating the database with GIS Viewer. Photos of the sites can be saved in the tool as well to provide further visual information for the users of the program.

The database has been tested in the six regions involved in the CircUse project in the countries of Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy and Austria. The testing which took place ensured that the land management data tool is ready for use across Central Europe nations.

With the land management data tool, municipalities can better plan in a strategic and holistic manner. This is achieved through the city or region overview of potentials all on one map, coupled with site specific analyses for each identified parcel. This can provide a readable possible blue print for future city or regional decisions. It will help realize the opportunities to develop inner city areas and also reduce the land consumption of periphery land.

As part of the CircUse project, both versions of the tool will be available for free on the project website. The “Standard Version” of the tool can now be downloaded on the CircUse webpage at under “Project Results”.

The project is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme co-financed by the ERDF. The programme is funded by the Central European Program of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation.

More Information:
CircUse Website
Demo Database Download Link:

This text is of course free for publishing and we would be very pleased to receive a copy or link of the material!
German Institute for Urban Affairs, Zimmerstraße 13-15, 10969 Berlin, Germany
Thomas Preuss and Maic Verbücheln
phone: +49 30 39001-265, +49 30 39001-263

Sybille Wenke-Thiem | idw
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