The Urban Development Concept is the legal spatial planning document of the City of Graz, renewed every 10 years in line with Styrian Spatial Planning Law
The Urban Development Concept of Graz (UDC) is a spatial planning document that includes integrating GI into the spatial planning process; it is updated every 10 years. In the UDC it is determined the mandatory greening of roofs and facades and the maximum degree of soil sealing in built-up areas as well as the minimum green areas per m²/inhabitant to provide the multi-benefits of improved air quality, adaptation to rainfall and flooding. The Green Net Graz, a conceptual study on improving living conditions within a constantly growing city by means of green spaces, has a key influence on the UDC and specifies that each citizen lives within 300m of a green space. It causes often problems to keep green areas free for settlements as the city is growing and needs these areas. As the UDC is a legal binding instrument, the local spatial planning has to stick to these determinations further on in their landusemaps and zoning maps. The evidence of success is given as you can see the still existing green areas in high density parts of Graz and the growing amount of green roofs. As a partner in PERFECT, through our stakeholder group and peer working, we have raised awareness with planners and politicians of good practices for multi-benefiting GI at the local level. Every municipality in Styria has to create a local development concept and can now overtake the determinations about GI. It is a good practice for all municipalities to implement GI in spatial planning.

Resources needed

There is no additional funding for this concept. The financial resources cannot be named as it is mainly made from the people working in the authority of Graz partly with help from external planners.

Evidence of success

The evidence of success is given as you can see the still existing green areas in high density parts of Graz and the growing amount of green roofs.
The other spatial planning instruments of Graz have to go along with the development concept and in the zoning maps f.e. you can see that the City try to set the determinations also according to the Green Net of Graz. The PERFECT stakeholders (planners and municipalities) can overtake it now in their municipalities.

Difficulties encountered

It is very often difficult to keep up existing green areas in the cities, as the investors often don’t see green plots as a big value. The city itself is growing and need also these green plots for the dwellings. So with the determinations of the UDC they can keep it free from housing.

Potential for learning or transfer

This is a transferable good practice because it shows that it is possible to improve existing policies by raising awareness of planners and politicians of the multi-benefits of GI by exchanging experience with other project partners and peer working. But also by demonstrating the good practice which already exists in the area by presenting all the GI benefits and making the links with strategic spatial planning. The Styrian municipalities can overtake these determinations in their concepts as they see the results in the green city of Graz. It could also be transferred to planning instruments of other Partners of the PERFECT Project. It was explained very detailed at the 4th PSC Meeting in Graz with all its benefits.

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Main institution
City of Graz; City planning department
Steiermark, Austria (Österreich)
Start Date
January 2013
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Julie Patenaude

Interreg Europe - Joint secretariat