Vienna, the capital of Austria, is situated in the eastern part of the country, on the Danube. Its heritage is characterised by such inhabitants as Mozart, Bertha von Suttner and Sigmund Freud, but also by the Habsburg monarchy and the already centenary history of “Red Vienna” with municipal housing developments as flagships of the city’s housing policy approach.
Vienna is a city with very high quality of life, as international surveys have confirmed many times over. For example, in 2018 Vienna took first place in the “Economist” ranking of the world’s most liveable cities. One of the reasons for this lies in the firm conviction of the City of Vienna that it is essential not only to preserve a wide range of municipal housing but also to provide many additional initiatives in order to safeguard affordable, high-quality dwellings for its citizens.
Every single example is the outcome of successful co-operation between many different institutions that focus on sustainability in the very widest sense. Innovative urban development programmes are often complemented by programmes for citizen participation, so that “neighbourhood know-how” can be integrated and inhabitants are motivated to nurture a feeling of “belonging” and being part of a local community.
Joint activities in the neighbourhood are encouraged by a great variety of initiatives, such as communal urban gardening or women’s cafés, and lead to more strongly networked attitudes and more respectful behaviour in interpersonal communication. Moreover, the City of Vienna also offers assistance through numerous counselling services that range from the subsidisation and planning of housing projects up to the moment of their completion to a rent calculator or advice on flat return modalities or from cultural shows to neighbourhood block parties.
The future lies in sustainability across all relevant categories – from new buildings to refurbishment, including the environment as a whole. Every construction project embodies many hours of work dedicated to such questions as energy efficiency, environmental compatibility, housing affordability, green zones, history, etc. Interlinked and meticulously implemented, all these aspects will enable future generations, too, to discover an equally liveable city.