The lack of a balance between gains and losses makes it difficult to reach sensible solutions both for development planning and for soil protection. St├ęphane Nahrath and his team are analysing the mechanisms that lead to economic and ecological gains and losses. The team will be testing various burden balancing instruments for effectiveness, and will compare and test them in three case study areas.

Lay summary

Development planning measures often create economic gains and losses, for example through zoning and out-zoning of areas or through use restrictions on soils under stress. More sustainable management of the soil can be achieved by way of compensation mechanisms, that is to say through the balancing of these gains and losses. This applies both in terms of quantity (urban sprawl versus urban concentration) and of quality (maintaining soil functions).

The project will analyse the mechanisms that lead to the creation of gains and losses, as well as the relationship between gains and losses, for example, whether the gains are greater than losses for a given measure. Conurbations, tourist centres and periurban areas in Switzerland will be the areas studied. The areas included will therefore be those that are under greatest pressure with regard to sustainable soil management. In addition, as comprehensive as possible a record of the economic and fiscal instruments that will redistribute the economic and ecological gains and losses will be drawn up. The effectiveness of these instruments is to be tested and compared via various scenarios in three case study areas – Lausanne (conurbation), Gstaad-Pays-d’Enhaut (tourist region) and Glarus (periurban area).

Based on these case studies, recommendations will be drawn up for the use of the instruments in the field of development planning and in soil protection, as well as for the structuring of the soil market.