airports architecture infrastructure initiatives research strat. planning urban design
process fields of action prototypes
Border space - space of opportunities
Germany-Austria-Switzerland-Liechtenstein (DACH+), 2004-2006
DACH+ website
client: DACH+ (an Interreg IIIA project)
team: Güller Güller architecture urbanism

‘There is an urgent need for more active spatial planning approaches. We need an action-plan now – on the basis of which a monitoring system for spatial development can later be established. Not the other way around. Too much time has been wasted for monitoring without knowing what to do with the data gathered.’

At the second DACH+ symposium in December 2005, politicians picked up the action-oriented momentum of the agenda set out in our project ‘border space – space for opportunities’:
- an action-plan with concrete prototypical projects to be launched by the regional planning authorities on three distinct levels: the DACH+ space as a whole, the border regions, and local project areas.
- the launch of a process-system and of actor networks to institutionalize the further development of the action-plan within a ‘DACH+ forum’.

The first step in 2004 (focussing on the main issues for the border space) was a sketch simulation of the process-system with interdisciplinary workshops, and of how to draw an action-plan from it. The second step in 2005 (focussing on settlement development issues) took the process-system into its first specific round and generated a concrete action-plan ready to be tackled immediately by the regional planners within the initiated actor networks.

Forum DACH+
The series of interdisciplinary workshops and bilateral discussions conducted have territorially determined the issues at stake, have shown paths of implementation and have established a common sense of urgency amongst all participants. The challenges facing the border space have resulted out of simulations of possible development. With the Forum, this approach to establishing and improving actor networks, to cristallising prototypical projects and opportunities for common realisation is to be carried on.

Action-plan and fields of action
Regional planning authorities have different fields of action at different levels: in the context of the DACH+ space as a whole, they can get involved in terms of coordinating and establishing guidelines. At the level of the border regions, they can really co-operate directly. And within local project areas, they can help in terms of creating innovative and favourable conditions.

The action-plan drawn from the rich inputs from the workshops considers all three levels and contains corresponding prototypical projects with a high degree of urgency. At the level of the DACH+ space as a whole, this is first and foremost the launch and promotion of the dynamic cross-border city-network in the Rhine-valley between Chur and the Bodensee.

In terms of direct co-operation, cross-border prototypes are on the one hand the creation of real cross-border agglomeration programmes in Konstanz-Kreuzlingen or Schaffhausen-Singen, and on the other hand development strategies for rural space – aktiv gestalten statt erhalten.