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Group aims to buy land to make it free to the public

An association that aims to make more public spaces available by buying up land to stop it being developed is gathering pace in Vorarlberg.

Since it was founded several weeks ago the association "Bodenfreiheit" has attracted several hundred members for its project to obtain property and then make it available to the public either as parks, sledging runs or simply as a space to relax in.

As well as buying up property the association also aims to make sure that no building work is carried out on the property they obtain. It also needs to be accessible to the public.

On its web page http://www.bodenfreiheit.at/ausgangslage.html the association says that only a fifth of the surface area of the mountainous western province of Vorarlberg is habitable because of the geography and climate. As a result land is a scarcity and it's becoming more scarce – with around 1500 m² of greenbelt land being turned into building land on a daily basis.

As well as promoting the need to have more freely accessible public space the association also hopes to promote discussion and debate on the subject.

Money is raised from the membership fees paid to join the association which is then used to buy property. It costs around 10 euros a month to be a member.

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