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A green oasis

Construction of this innovative project in Vienna’s 10th municipal district Favoriten began in autumn 2017 on an area covering 5.4 hectares. Biotope City Wienerberg was realised by seven developers, resulting in a total of approx. 990 residential units of varying sizes and typologies.

Of these, roughly 600 dwellings are subsidised, while around 200 units are highly affordable SMART flats. This first-ever biotope city was completed and ready for its residents in spring 2021.

One key focus of Biotope City Wienerberg is on the interaction of humans and technology (architecture), while a second major emphasis concerns flora and fauna. Despite high building density, the new neighbourhood is characterised by an impressive share of green and open spaces.

A large number of trees were planted in the ample green zones. The open areas accommodate a great variety of plant and animal species and moreover boast approx. 2,000 sqm of playgrounds and play spaces for children and young people. Moreover, a new kindergarten and a New Middle School as well as room for shops, offices and communal spaces were provided as well.

In addition to numerous greening activities, a rainwater management system was developed and implemented to permit using the new neighbourhood as a water reservoir. Furthermore, the roof surfaces offer space for urban gardening, leisure and relaxation around rooftop pools. Façade greening not only improves the climatic conditions, but also serves as a thermal buffer zone and privacy screen for balconies and loggias.

The extensive greening of Biotope City Wienerberg helps to mitigate the effects of climate change, e.g. by reducing midsummer temperatures in and around the new neighbourhood or by increasing biodiversity. This has positive effects on human physical and psychosocial health and socio-spatial development. 

The implementation of this residential quarter was contingent on an urban development contract concluded between the developers and the City of Vienna. For this purpose, a master quality catalogue was drawn up as a preparatory step to serve as the basis for all further planning activities. This catalogue addressed social, urban-design and architectural principles and defined key qualities to be met by the green and open spaces. During the entire planning and implementation period, the project was supported by residents, with assistance provided by neighbourhood management experts of Caritas and the City of Vienna (Municipal Department 21), which ensured that the aimed-for master qualities would indeed become reality. The project was completed over several stages, which made it possible to evaluate the measures implemented in good time and to take account of suggestions for improvement. 

Moreover, Biotope City Wienerberg was awarded Candidate status in the context of IBA_Vienna 2022 on the basis of its “systematic approach to the complex implementation of contributions to climate adaptation in new urban quarters” and its “scientific monitoring of neighbourhood development in connection with climate-relevant contributions”. IBA_Vienna supported the project up to its implementation and will present it internationally in 2022 as an innovative model for potential future solutions to foster climate adaptation in urban areas.