Stanz im Mürztal is located in a rural area in the province of Styria in Austria. It has a total population of 1 844 inhabitants and a surface area of 70 km2. The region is industrial and has been affected by economic structural change in recent decades.
As in many European regions, people tend to move into metropolitan areas, which is one reason for depopulation. The economy is small-scaled, which is reflected in the high percentage of people who commute from the municipality.
Our village decided to search for new ways to deal with these challenges. Therefore, we started a ‘Local Agenda 21’ process in 2016 to enable an integrated development of the village with the knowledge and support of the inhabitants. Since then, about 80 active residents deliver ’hands on’ on the development of a local strategy and implementation of measures in different areas with great commitment.
Over the past few years, the issues of enhancing the village centre, the creation of new mobility options and measures to improve the quality of life have been addressed.
In the future, we want to focus more on the issues of self-sufficient energy production at local level and support to energy-producing communities. The goal is to increase the supply of renewable energy sources, which is currently around 30%, up to 100%. This is combined with multipliable, innovative business and cooperation models for the financing and flexible use of these energy sources. This also helps to ensure the sustainable economic development of the community.
Furthermore, we want to deal with the question of voluntary work: we are fortunate to have many people involved in community life. Thus, we want to explore the question of how this situation can be secured in the future and what non-monetary compensation there can be.
Stanz gains acknowledgement for energy efficiency
The energy and climate policy commitment to the ‘e5 programme for energy-efficient communities’ – the Austrian branch of the European Energy Award – got Stanz recognition and four out of the five ‘e-s’.
The European Energy Award is an international quality-management and certification tool. The programme encourages and supports around 1 700 municipalities across Europe to modernise their energy and climate protection policies, save energy and costs, and make greater use of renewable energy sources.
Stanz multifunctional centre among finalists for Architecture and Sustainability Award
The new multifunctional building in Stanz is one of ten nominated for the Austrian State Prize for Architecture and Sustainability.
Seventy two projects from all over Austriam ranging from school buildings to residential complexes, to commercial buildings, applied for the prestigious award. The ten finalists have been selected by an independent jury. The winners will be announced at a festive event in December 2021 in Vienna.
Photo © Kurt Hoerbst
Stanz wooden centre recognised for sustainability
The newly constructed multifunctional building in the centre of Stanz was recently recognised as a sustainable action – it was awarded the prize for exemplary timber construction of the province of Styria.
This new local centre is an expression of the consistent structural implementation of the sustainable development of the village: it houses the local food supplier and affordable housing options for all age groups, all in a cozy, people-friendly architecture and construction.
Stanz: the transformation of a rural community
Stanz, the location of the second Smart Rural 21 regional workshop, used the opportunity to showcase its smart strategy, firmly grounded in social innovation and local participation, as well as investment in renewable energies.
The village is a ‘Renewable Energy Community’ in its commitment to only use green energy, save on energy costs, prevent blackouts, use energy tokens to organise the community in a smart way. All of this included active citizen participation in the planning process, which in turn created a sense of pride of being a part of the local community.
Stanz hosts the 2nd Smart Rural 21 project regional workshop
The Austrian village will see two days – 4-5 November 2021 – of exchanges on Smart Rural 21 project outcomes and smart village approaches and solutions, particularly those that contribute to CO2 emissions reduction, including renewable energy and local energy communities.
See the detailed programme here!
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