The region of southwestern Styria is known for its outstanding natural beauty. In the last decades it has become a popular place to live and work. The region consists of the districts of Leibnitz and Deutschlandsberg, where about 138.240 inhabitants (WIBIS 2013) live. It is one out of 7 regions in Styria, where a continuous growth of population is noticeable.
The growth of population primarily takes place along the economical axis of Graz- Leibnitz- Spielfeld and Graz- Lannach- Stainz- Deutschandsberg. Industry, manufacturing trade (especially in the core areas of Leibnitz and Deutschlandsberg) and also agriculture are important parts of the region’s economy. The region Südweststeiermark is also located along the infrastructural corridor of Graz- Leibnitz- Maribor- Zagreb. Furthermore, it will be connected to the Koralm Railway by the train station Weststeiermark, which is currently under construction. According to this project the district of Deutschlandsberg will be part of the Baltic- Adriatic Corridor, which is considered as a huge chance concerning the future development of residential zones and economy.
However, the “brain drain” in peripheral municipalities is a serious challenge. Amongst others there could be named insufficient infrastructural facilities to urban agglomerations and a decrease of economically active population. To counteract the demographic change, it is important to create attractive jobs. The combination of a successful industrial structure and the diversity of cultural landscape (especially for tourism) and its specific products (e.g. wine, pumpkin seed oil, etc.) is a chance to develop the regional niche market and even the region itself as a quality- orientated place to live, work and invest.