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Project topic: Cities

Project title: The EO Park – Another new Shopping Center

Team: 2A VS Another new Shopping Center

Hauptpl. 7   Oberschützen   Austria   17 Student’s age: 12-13 years old

Research question

What happens when the local government decides to build another shopping center? How can we try to make it more climate friendly?

Summary of the project
Loss of fertile soil

The local problem we investigated is the currently ongoing construction of a second shopping center just over the road of the (20 year) “old” one. We lose a lot of fertile soil and agriculturally used area at the outskirts of a city, where you have to use a private car due to the lack of good bus connections. We wanted to know more about this failing city planning and how the city government is reacting to the critics within the local population.

Main results and Conclusions
Soil consumption in Austria

There are a lot of critics within the local population and also within some political parties, as we could read in the newspapers when we did our research. We were able to find out, that a lot of shops of the new shopping center currently are located just 6 minutes away, so as supporters of the new “EO Park” argue that there will be more jobs because of the shopping center, we believe that the old shops will be abandoned soon. To respond to some critics the people in charge, for example the city mayor, already took some actions: They planted some trees, installed bike and car charging stations and tried to advertise the “green energy” which is used in this new shopping center. Nevertheless we could find out that the area where the shopping center will be opened in May, was an agriculturally used land just two years ago and that we should be careful sealing more and more of our fertile soil.

What’s Next? Actions to make a difference and help lessen the problem
Actions to make a difference – Our suggestions

As our next step we want to contact the people in charge and talk to the mayor of the city (Oberwart), where the new shopping center will open in May. We want to convince him not only to plant more plants for shady parking areas, fresher air and nicer surroundings. We also want to convince him to plant indigenous plants and to improve the public transport so the people can avoid to use their own car.

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