Avoid – Mitigate – Compensate: Halting the Loss of Biodiversity in Landscapes “Under Pressure” - Landscape Planning and Eco Account examples from the Stuttgart Region, Germany



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Within the European Union, Germany has the largest population (ca. 80 million) and the fourth highest population density (about 230 inhabitants per km²). In addition, the population’s need for living space is among the highest within Europe: in 2012, the rate of living space per resident was around 40 m² per person and far above Europe’s average for many other indicators, like percentage of urbanized land, population density, and motorization (table 1).

With its long history of urbanisation and industrialization after World War II and its geographical position in the centre of Europe, Germany faces strong challenges to balance the demands of people’s welfare and the country’s natural resources like biodiversity and water quality. The current situation with a high number of people immigrating temporarily or permanently from abroad strengthens the need for finding smart solutions for long-term spatial planning and for a sustainable land use in general. Due to a low birth rate and negative migration rate, Germany’s population decreased from 82.5 million in 2002 to 80.5 million in 2012), but a strong increase of immigration within the recent years (300,000 to 600,000 per year) resulted in a number of 81.2 million residents in 2014 (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2013). In addition, the number of automobiles per 1.000 residents is situated in the top third within the EU (Statista, 2016). Through the last decades, an ongoing process of fragmentation of the land by roads and of degradation of the land by spatial development has taken place (Jaeger et al. 2012).