Stanz im Mürtzal
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.
inner peripheries, mountains, remote
Degree of urbanization
population of 1855
The first goal is to increase the supply of renewable energy sources, which is currently around 30%, to 100%. This is combined with multiplicable, innovative business and cooperation models for the financing and flexible use of these energy sources in a structurally weak community like Stanz, as well as being implemented on a pilot basis during the project duration. At the same time, the optimization and expansion of the local energy networks (heat and electricity) in the village centre as well as solutions for their intelligent use.
The second goal is to reorganize and revitalize the town centre.
Strengthening the village centre
Vacant buildings in the centre of the village have been sustainably renovated and a densification has been achieved by a new building in wooden construction. This has created a new multifunctional centre. This includes apartments for young and elderly people, a shop for products and food with a focus on regional products, two service facilities and the new administration building of the municipality to provide better municipal administration for the people. A new public space will be created on the forecourt and it is planned to initiate measures to reduce traffic by creating a shared space. All in all, this is a good practice to strengthen village centres and sustainable settlement and economic development in rural areas