Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Siting of farm buildings in the landscape context and solving spatial conflicts

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.05  Humanities  Geography  Applied geography 

Code Science Field
T260  Technological sciences  Physical planning 

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
spatial conflicts, farm buildings, spatial constraints of farms, landscape planning, spatial planning, participatory planning
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  12470  PhD Andreja Borec  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2016 - 2018  239 
2.  24037  PhD Damjana Gantar  Urbanism  Researcher  2016 - 2018  125 
3.  35706  PhD Maruša Goluža  Humanities  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  62 
4.  15069  PhD Marjan Janžekovič  Animal production  Researcher  2016 - 2018  614 
5.  23513  PhD Janez Nared  Geography  Researcher  2016 - 2018  335 
6.  28438  PhD Nika Razpotnik Visković  Geography  Head  2016 - 2018  143 
7.  26379  PhD Mateja Šmid Hribar  Humanities  Researcher  2016 - 2018  280 
8.  10532  MSc Ina Šuklje Erjavec  Urbanism  Researcher  2016 - 2018  247 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0482  University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences  Hoče  5089638004  9,888 
2.  0505  Urban planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051703000  2,774 
3.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,948 
The countryside is always changing. Farming practices change and farm buildings have to change with them. Farms are important landscape element; with their siting and visual appearance they contribute to its recognition or degradation. It seems that in the second half of the 20th century a lot of traditional practices and knowledge about functional and well-designed siting of farm buildings has been lost or ignored in Slovenia: more and more buildings are sited in inappropriate location, and the need to harmonize building design with traditional rural architectural practices and surrounding landscape is not taken in consideration. Many developmentally promising farms in Slovenia also face the problem of spatial constraints in settlements. Spatial constraints arise when farms cannot expand their outbuildings in their current location in order to modernize or expand their activity. In addition, they cannot expand or arrange their production areas to accommodate modern farm equipment. Farms’ spatial constraints reduce their development potential because these constraints prevent them from expanding and modernizing agricultural production, and they make access to farmland more difficult. This issue also affects farm succession because the willingness of the younger generation to engage in farming also depends on farms’ potential to expand. In addition, it affects quality of life and can create social tension in settlements. Disagreements between farmers and non-farmers are most often connected with the nature of agricultural production (odors, noise from farm equipment, and dirty roads), land ownership disputes, trespassing, and vandalism, as well as inappropriately located and built barns and other outbuildings (dimensions and proportions, current use, and how additions were made), which has a negative impact on the appeal and character of the landscape. In recent years, an increasing number of such conflicts have arisen as a result of urbanization of the countryside, increased pressure on available vacant land in settlements, and changes in the social structure of rural settlements. Solving spatial conflicts is the responsibility of spatial planning, and the legislation in force offers opportunities for resolving them. However, problems occur in implementation: time-consuming procedures for finding substitute locations, problems in changing or producing spatial plans and obtaining permits, inappropriate stylistic solutions, and stakeholder dissatisfaction. Therefore, the objectives of this study are as follows: - To identify and prepare an overview of the most pressing spatial conflicts; - To create starting points, orientations, and recommendations for designing and positioning farm structures in the landscape (based on landscape regions); - To assess the success of resolving initiatives for relocating or expanding farms from the perspective of both farm development and the satisfaction of other residents in the settlement, and also to determine possible spatial principles; - To show best-practice examples regarding the relocation of farm structures or entire farms in Slovenia and other comparable countries; - To resolve conflicts both preventively (by informing the general public) and through additional guidelines for preparing local spatial plans. The project consortium brings together three research institutions: Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, The Urban planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences of University of Maribor. Project members cover wide range of fields of expertise: - agricultural land planning, land consolidation, design and reconstruction of farm buildings, - socio-economic characteristics of farms and their development potential, public goods, participatory planning, spatial conflicts, - landscape aspects in spatial development, use of scenarios in landscape planning, urban agriculture. The structure of partner consortium a
Significance for science
From the scientific viewpoint, this research will: – Provide new findings in spatial and landscape planning, especially with regard to how the future development of rural settlement should be directed, while taking into account the needs of modern farming; – Add to and connect the body of knowledge on landscape typology and architectural regions or the tradition of designing and siting farm structures and fields or enclosures in various parts of Slovenia with opportunities for designing modern and functional farms that are well positioned (i.e., not visually disturbing) within the landscape; – Present methodologies for documenting spatial conflicts, for evaluating the success rate of resolving them from the viewpoint of different stakeholders, and for identifying the reasons for unsuccessful attempts to relocate spatially constrained farms; – Improve the understanding of spatial and social processes in rural and urban settlements, which is vital for resolving or at least reducing land-use conflicts; – Encourage a discussion on the spatial situation of (Slovenian) family farms, the transformation of their role in rural settlements, and existing and potential adjustment strategies for their survival. The structure of partner consortium and broad professional competences of researchers involved will ensure that research questions and challenges will be addressed interdisciplinary and thus quality results will be provided. With the envisaged expert recommendations, this research will help strengthen the authority of spatial planning actors and transfer research findings into legislation.
Significance for the country
This research will draw the attention of spatial-planning stakeholders (especially at the local level) to the problem of farms’ spatial constraints and inappropriately located structures on farms, thereby encouraging them to be more cautious when making decisions on the future development of settlements and the location of farms in them; namely, rectifying the effects of inappropriate planning of settlements has significant financial and social costs. Farm relocation should thus be considered as an extreme measure only, when conflicts cannot be solved as they occur, through appropriate spatial planning. Inappropriate layouts also result in visual degradation of the area and landscape, which affects both the quality of life and market value of the area in question, especially in cases involving otherwise high-quality areas in highly visible locations or more vulnerable areas (due to environmental and social conditions such as remote or border areas). Through its recommendations for more efficiently resolving farms’ spatial situations, this research will help improve production and economic conditions in agriculture. Moreover, by improving living conditions and the quality of space, it will also help improve social conditions in general. It will contribute to more effective management of risks on developmentally promising farms connected with the potential to expand and modernize production. Appropriately siting farm structures (with sufficient room, appropriate infrastructure access to farmland, access to water sources, and so on) improves the management of farms, increasing their competitiveness. The economic potential has a positive effect on farm succession and the tendencies to modernize farm production and introduce innovations, thereby indirectly strengthening the production potential of Slovenian agriculture. It will also help reduce conflicts in settlements and more effectively resolve the discrepancies in spatial planning that occur between various services.
Most important scientific results Final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report
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