Kick-off meeting of IAKS Expert Circle for Nature Activity Areas
On 11 May, IAKS members met online for the kick-off meeting of the new „Nature Activity Areas“ Expert Circle.
Under the guidance of Holger Kortbek, Gladsaxe Municipality (Denmark), nine experts from four countries discussed the current trends and challenges in nature activity areas. To start with some input, Holger described the current situation from the Nordic perspective and then opened the discussion on how the situation is developing in other countries, and to define the expectations from users and public authorities.
Outdoor activity has become very popular - due to Covid-19. The experts stated a rising awareness on the risk that the number of users could be a conflict compared to the environment that is used. Different user groups could cause conflicts with each other. What used to be the work by volunteers i.e. the trails and tracks (the infrastructure), could become a service to be provided by the municipality.
What would be the benefits for municipalities to get more involved in the infrastructure of nature activity areas?
Nature activity areas need less budget than indoor facilities but can serve a larger amount of users
Direct citizens in the dedicated area helps to preserve nature
Making the municipality more attractive for citizens and tourism
The expert circle members agreed to dedicate their future work to develop some guidance in order to support municipalities in embracing the new demand for nature activity areas infrastructure. The group plans to meet in-person in the course of the 27th IAKS Congress in October in Cologne, Germany.