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BISON: Sustainable and future-oriented infrastructure development

Biodiversity and Infrastructure Synergies and Opportunities for European Transport Networks (BISON)

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Transport routes affect our environment in many ways. On the one hand, transport routes dissect the landscape and thus animal habitats. Noise, pollutants and collisions with vehicles can have additional negative effects. On the other hand, traffic corridors provide habitats for animals and plants that are under little pressure of use. They are characterised by a high degree of interconnectedness along the transport routes, which can have a positive effect on the preservation and promotion of biodiversity.

Railway line and road with green spaces in between and next to it

Sustainable and future-oriented infrastructure development minimises negative impacts of transport infrastructure and promotes positive potentials that serve to preserve and enhance biodiversity. In addition, climate change, further developments and innovations in technologies and materials pose challenges that infrastructure development must take into account. This is the only way to ensure a reliable and efficient transport infrastructure in the future.

The aim of the BISON project is to integrate biodiversity into future-oriented infrastructure development. The project is primarily aimed at promoting pan-European cooperation between the member states and the respective transport modes. The consortium is made up of 39 partner institutions from 16 countries. BISON will lay the foundation for the topic of infrastructure and biodiversity in the next research programme 2021-2027 (HORIZON EUROPE).

The specific objectives of the BISON project are:

  • Identifying future research and innovation needs for better integration of biodiversity into infrastructure design, construction (and deconstruction where appropriate), operation and maintenance.
  • Improving the performance and reliability of linear infrastructure, considering the specific concerns of Western and Eastern Europe.
  • Supporting European member states in fulfilling their international obligations.
  • Ensuring greater sustainability at international level by jointly addressing biodiversity and infrastructure challenges.

BASt is primarily involved in two work packages. The work package "Existing and future synergies between infrastructure and biodiversity" identifies current best practices and new technologies used to integrate biodiversity into transport infrastructure. The focus is on compiling practices and recommendations to ensure user safety and contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular to the reduction of biodiversity loss.

The Implementation work package will identify the needs of Member States, in terms of policy, legislation and implementation, in integrating the provisions of the EU Green Infrastructure Strategy into the development of transport infrastructure for all modes of transport. Furthermore, concrete innovative tools and instruments will be provided for the planning and design phase of the infrastructure life cycle, as well as key processes and instruments to promote the implementation of the recommended practices for the different transport modes, taking into account the whole active life cycle (planning, construction, operation, maintenance).

Further information