Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-05-01 - 2021-04-30

Sustainable urban development initiatives focusing on local, circular and renewable production of food, energy, and water (FWE) can be found virtually anywhere nowadays. However, attention for the impacts of these local solutions at the global level has lagged behind. The GLOCULL project aims to develop a co-creative Urban Living Lab approach for innovations in the FWE nexus that are both locally and globally sustainable. This novel approach will be described in context-sensitive implementation guidelines and supported by a participatory assessment tool kit. The guidelines and the tool kit will be developed through transdisciplinary action research in seven Urban Living Labs, combined with an integrated, model-supported assessment of local-global interactions in the FWE nexus.

Comprising the diversity of ecosystems and species as well as the genetic diversity within species biodiversity is the basis for human life. Human well-being is strongly dependent on the functions and services which are delivered by our ecosystems and landscapes. Intact ecosystems fulfil important services, for example supplying us with food, water and timber, cleaning water an d air, regulating the climate and offering facilities for recreation. This awareness was triggered by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 and has stimulated a widespread debate on the sustainable use of our environment. As Biosphere Reserves are seen as model regions for such a sustainable use, they represent the perfect living laboratory for investigating the relationship of balanced human uses and the environment. Within this frame, monitoring plays a fundamental role. This can only be done by developing indicators for long-term monitoring representing the ecological and socio -cultural development as two main pillars of sustainability. Ecosystem services lend itself to this purpose in an optimal way as they measure not only the current state of land use but are also a good communication tool with stakeholders and the local population. Still, it is of current scientific debate in which amount the different services are provided on different scales, as single services seem to react in various ways if viewed from the local or the regional scale. Aim of the present project is the development of a set of integrative indicators for a Biosphere Reserve Integrated Monitoring system (BRIM) in the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald based on the concept of ecosystem functions and services (Millennium Assessment 2005). The different objectives of this project do thus include several issues and steps: Embedded in a spatial reference framework that links scales and topics (WP2) we will assess environmental and socio-cultural landscape services. The assessment will take place at the regional as well as at the local scale. As a first step, within a stakeholder workshop we will identify regional relevant landscape services, which will be linked to land use types by a capacity matrix (WP3 ). The calculated landscape services will then be illustrated by spider web diagrams and service maps within the different landscape types and zones in the BR. In a second step, locally relevant environmental and socio- cultural services and their parameters shall be defined within a participatory process including stakeholders and experts (WP4). The calculation of the identified service parameters will allow an assessment of landscape services at the local scale. Depending on availability and quality of exi sting datasets these services are targeted to act and contribute as BRIM indicators on the local scale. Finally, the parameters for the individual environmental and socio-cultural landscape services need to be synthesised according to their scales to provide one common result. The results will be visualised as spider web diagrams and thematic maps. In order to derive recommendations for a core set of BRIM indicators a comparison of regional and local assessment results will be indispensable. Finally we will propose a sustainable Landscape Services Provision Model based on Seville criteria which will serve as baseline for the reduction of vulnerability for the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald as well as for other Biosphere Reserves (WP5).

Many studies showed the vulnerability of Austria`s tourism to climate change, possible economic impacts, risks and opportunities. However tourism itself contributes substantially to climate change. Given the importance for the economy, a specific, carfully reviewed assessment is needed. The purpose of the Special Report on Tourism is to summarise and assess the state of knowledge of all aspects of this topic based on and open to contributions by the full community of Austrian researchers and related experts.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations