Nov 3, 2022–Feb 28, 2023

Land for Us All

St. Veiter Ring 10, 09020 Klagenfurt Map
Mon–Fri 9 am–19, Sat 10 am–3 pm

The earth's surface is finite and soil is our most precious commodity. Careless or capital-driven use of this resource has massively changed the shape and function of our cities and villages in recent decades. In view of the looming climate catastrophe and rising housing prices, the question arises as to whether the previous path of maximum compromises and minimum adjustments is still sustainable. Where is a far-reaching and courageous land policy?

The progressive urban sprawl of the country has been discussed for decades. In the meantime, all Austrians could be accommodated in already existing single-family homes and yet building land continues to be dedicated, new shopping centers are built on greenfield sites and chalet villages in the Alps. The increasing sealing of land contributes to the climate crisis and endangers food security. Speculation with land makes housing more expensive and leads to a creeping privatization of public space. Weak or unapplied land-use planning laws, a sometimes misguided tax code and subsidy system, and despondent policies perpetuate the status quo instead of developing a vision for the future.

Vividly and concretely, critically and sometimes also unintentionally absurdly, the exhibition explains the political, legal and economic background. How does grassland become building land? Why is the price of land rising? What does all this have to do with our life dreams? Case studies and explanations of terms shed light on the thicket of responsibilities. Country comparisons illustrate strengths and weaknesses, and international best-practice examples show alternatives. A collection of existing and possible new instruments points the way to spatial planning that conserves land as a resource, mitigates climate change, helps the housing issue, and enables good architecture. We are all challenged to think and act in new ways. The exhibition prepares the ground for this.