The project is designed to involve local and regional stakeholders in the elaboration and application of a concept of sustainable land use with focus on energy supply. The approach uses the motivation of local actors and aims at a robust realisation balanced over various relevant levels. Our method will launch a process of cooperation between scientists (experts from the fields of sustainable land management, distributed energy systems, governance and participation) and practitioners from administration, regional politics and regional energy suppliers.
Ahrweiler is chosen as a model region for the project, since the district has already expressed its ambitions to reconvert its own energy supply, but is still at the beginning of the process and a concept of sustainable land use has not yet been elaborated. Several competing land use options exist in the region, such as tourism, health facilities and spa operation, nature protection, and winegrowing and other food cultivation practices.
During the project, an innovation group will elaborate a concept of sustainable land use in the district Ahrweiler that is attuned to superordinated long-range goals by engaging relevant (political) stakeholders as well as the local population. An interdisciplinary advisory group of experienced scientists will assist the innovation group. A general approach transferable to other regions shall be derived as main goal.
The first stage of the project was a 12 months definition phase for development of a knowledge base, the identification, recruitment and involvement of project partners, and the elaboration of methods and goals. In March 2015, the main phase of four years began.