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Participation & Sustainable Development in Europe

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Chair-persons: Rita Trattnigg and Martina Handler Rita Trattnigg

Rita Trattnigg holds a degree in political science; she works in the Austrian Ministry of the Environment, where she is responsible for the issue of sustainable development (at the EU and national levels) with special emphasis on participation and governance. She publishes, lectures and teaches, as well as facilitates participation processes. She is trained as systemic coach and facilitator for large groups.

Contact: rita.trattnigg(at)

to top Martina Handler

Martina Handler holds a degree in political science and is a mediator; she is in charge of the field of participation at ÖGUT. She works on public participation in theory and practice, as well as cooperative conflict resolution and sustainable development.

Contact: martina.handler(at)

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Members of the Strategic Group:
Mag. Thomas Alge

Thomas Alge manages the department of environmental law at the ÖKOBÜRO - Coordination of Austrian environment organisations - and is member of the steering committee of the European environment organisation "Justice and Environment". His key interests are the Aarhus Convention, particularly "assessment  of  environmental  effects", as well as the "Strategic environmental  audit" in Austria and Europe.

Contact: thomas.alge(at)

to top Kerstin Arbter

Kerstin Arbter is an expert on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and participation. She is Managing Director of >> Büro Arbter - Technisches Büro für Landschaftsplanung. She plans and accompanies participation processes.

Contact: office(at)

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Mag. Jasmine Bachmann

Jasmine Bachmann, holds a degree in biology and is currently working in the Department for Participation and Sustainable Development at the ÖGUT. Prior to this work she was Expert for Public Particpation and Communication at the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube.

Contact: jasmine.bachmann(at)

to top Karolina Begusch-Pfefferkorn

Karolina Begusch-Pfefferkorn works at the Ministry of Science; she coordinates research programmes concerned with sustainable development (man-made environment, proVISION: provision for nature and society) within the Department of Environmental, Natural and Engineering Science.

Contact: karolina.begusch-pfefferkorn(at)

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Mag.a Andrea Binder-Zehetner

Andrea Binder-Zehetner is the Managing Director of the Local Agenda 21 Association in Vienna.

Contact: binder-zehetner(at)

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Prof. Dr. Jens S. Dangschat

Jens S. Dangschat holds a professorship at the Vienna University of Technology, where he heads the sociology unit within the Department of Land-use Planning and Architecture.

Contact: jens.dangschat(at)

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Mag. Luis Fidlschuster

Luis Fidlschuster is a partner in the ÖAR-Regionalberatung GmbH; he has around 15 years’ experience in the field of innovative regional development. He currently heads the network service facility LEADER+ Austria on behalf of the Ministryof the Environment and the Federal Chancellery.

Contact: fidlschuster(at)

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DI Mag. Oliver Frey

Oliver Frey’s background is in urban planning and urban sociology; he works as assistant in the sociology unit within the Department of Land-use Planning and Architecture at the University of Technology, Vienna. His main fields of work include analysis of social space, community work, participation in the context of urban renewal and district management in Germany and France, and the role of urban planning in the knowledge society.

Contact: oliver.frey(at)  

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Mag.a Barbara Hammerl

Barbara Hammerl is designated Managing Director of the Arge Waste Prevention in Graz, as well as working as mediator, moderator and trainer.

Contact: barbara.hammerl(at) 

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Ing. Felix Heckl

Felix Heckl is the coordinator for the area of participation in Umweltbundesamt GmbH. As expert in the Department for Sustainable Development he is also concerned with environmental control, sustainable development and biological diversity.

Contact: felix.heckl(at)

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DI Wencke Hertzsch

Wencke Hertzsch is educated as urban and regional planner and is working as assistant in the Department for Sociology at the Technical University, Vienna (ISRA). Her focus is on research and teaching, as well as particiaption within urban planning.

Contact: hertzsch(a)


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Dr. Michael Ornetzeder

Michael Ornetzeder is sociologist and working at the Institute of Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. He is also a lecturer at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences; his main focus is on shaping social and technical innovations, sustainable development and participation.

Contact: michael.ornetzeder(at)

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Dipl.Ing. Wolfgang Pfefferkorn

Wolfgang Pfefferkorn works for Rosinak&Partner in Wien and for CIPRA International; he is a qualified land-use planner and mediator. He manages participation processes in conflict-loaden planning processes. Other concerns include regional planning, evaluation, as well as knowledge management.

Contact: pfefferkorn(at)

to top Elisabeth Purker

Elisabeth Purker works for the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology ÖGUT; she is a qualified urban and regional planner. Her main topics of interest includee participation, gender mainstreaming, social inequality and poverty in connexion with planning. Lisa also acts as a facilitator in participation processes.

Contact: lisa.purker(at)

to top Astrid Rössler

Astrid Rössler is a lawyer specialized in environmental law and formal approval procedures; she is working as consultant for projects of environmental relevance. Her activities as mediator are centred on conflict resolution and the management of participation projects.

Contact: office(at)

to top Sonja Sciri

Sonja Schiri is working for the City of Vienna, MA 22 - Administrative Group for the Environment.

Contact: sci(at)

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Dipl.Ing. Georg Tappeiner

Georg Tappeiner is in charge of the department stadt.bau.region at the Österreichisches Ökologie-Institut. He is a qualified land-use planner, mediator and trainer.

Contact: tappeiner(at)

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Associated Members:

Associated memebers are experts supporting the work of the Startegic Participation Goup on selected projects.

Dr. Peter Iwaniewicz

Peter Iwaniewicz is working in the Ministry Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Managment and responsible for education. Peter is also acting as teacher at the University of Vienna and trainer for project managment and communication.

Contact: peter.iwaniewicz(at)

to top Maria Nicolini

Maria Nicolini is professor for interdisciplinary studies at the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt.

Contact: maria.nicolini(at)

to top Ulrike Plettenbacher

Ulrike Plettenbacher is political scientist and working as Secretary General of the Austrian Council of Science and Humanities. Her main focus is on the theory of democracy, participation research and communication in science.

Contact: ulrike(at)

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Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Steiner Msc

Thomas Steiner is working for the Regional Government of Lower Austria, Abt. RU3 - environment and regional planning.

Contact: thomas.steiner(at)

to top Therese Stickler

Therese Stickler holds a degree in political science and she is working in the Umweltbundesamt GmbH. Her main focus is on participation, good governance und sustainable development.

Contact: therese.stickler(at)

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