We can get inspired by Aspern, Austria

It ranks among the most interesting projects in Europe, focusing on the improvement of air quality and overall quality of life. Only an hour far from Bratislava, a new neighbourhood in Vienna, Aspern Seestadt, is growing. It also contains a rental housing project that has a long-term tradition in Austria. A new city centre – a smart city with a heart, designed to suit the whole spectrum of life is forming in the quickly developing 22nd district in the northeast part of the city.

The multi-stage development brings high-quality housing for more than 25,000 people as well as thousands of job positions in this area. This “town in town” built based on innovative concepts and prospective ideas connects high quality of life with the economic drive and offers something for everyone. Already at the first sight, it is a diverse, open district of the city with great plans for the future. Furthermore, the authors of this project mention this locality in the heart of Europe as a smart and safe investment for investors – businessmen. The locals appreciate the perfect combination of the city style and relaxed pace. Thanks to the Smart Cities Klub, also Slovak mayors and representatives of municipalities went to discover the pulsing variety of Aspern Seestadt. “We focused on this district because the whole city quarter has been developed by the municipality, it is a project of the city,” says Miloslav Jurík, chairman of the Smart Cities Klub that runs the Smart City Academy project – air quality improvement.

The Aspern project is extraordinary from various points of view: technology of construction, or use of ecological materials used in the construction of individual buildings. The 25-storey wooden construction of the local hotel which is the highest building of this kind in Europe and ranks in the top two in the world tells its own tale. “It was a pilot project. Its authors managed to decrease CO2 by the construction. This kind of construction has proved to be good and today it is used as a model solution for similar projects in Austria,” adds Jurík.

Just the air and impact on its quality have been monitored by experts also in this area. The mobility of local residents is directed especially to public transport using an above-ground railway and an underground line. The train that connects to the extensive network of the Viennese underground can take inhabitants of this district to the centre of the city within half an hour. Let alone bikes – the locals cannot image their life without them. “All these solutions contribute to the emission reduction in this area. This is in direct proportion: the reduction of the number of cars leads to the reduction of emissions and to the improvement of the air quality,” states Martin Kremler, head of the air quality monitoring department of the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute.

In Slovakia, there have been intensive talks about the construction of rental housing already for a certain time. Also one part of the Aspern Seestadt project includes flats and apartments used for rental housing. Thus, information and experience from this trip can be used also in this field by the representatives of municipalities in the future. For example, in Dubnica nad Váhom, a town of a similar size to Aspern. Its mayor Peter Wolf talks about a very inspiring trip and workshops, “we have seen a lot of interesting solutions and have received interesting information especially regarding the adaptation to climate change. But also other elements and innovations that could be applied also in our towns,” adds Wolf.

For a long time, Vienna, the capital of Austria, has been ranked among the famous world cities with the best conditions for life, also based on official surveys. There are more than enough inspirations and you can see them wherever you go. “Austria as our close neighbour offers unique solutions that can be a good inspiration for us. Austrians are very good in the field of smart solutions for municipalities. And just Aspern Seestadt is the source of solutions how our towns can look like in a few years because we can see the future in the present here, reflecting all aspects of high quality and ecologically sustainable life,” concludes Peter Mišík, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Austria.