BIOTOPE CITY at the district Favoriten, Vienna - state of the art

A new district is currently being built on the former Coca-Cola site in Vienna-Favoriten. The special feature: it becomes a Biotope City district, according to the principles of the Amsterdam Foundation Biotope City with the concept of the dense city as nature. It kills two birds with one stone: to tackle climate change, the regenerative mechanisms of nature are exploited, and at the same time an increase in the well-being of the inhabitants and good social coexistence is achieved. Star architect Harry Glück played a key role in the planning. The planning and implementation process is accompanied by a research team led by BOKU University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. The planning principles as well as the state of research and planning for the implementation of a biotope city on Wienerberg has been showed last year at an exhibition in the area administration of Vienna's 10th district.

The Biotope City Quarter will be built on the former industrial site, a 5.4-acre site at the junction of the densely built district 'Inner-Favoriten' and the lush green areas of the south of the district. It is located in the immediate vicinity of Triester Straße, the Wienerberg City with its high rise housing, and the recreational area Wienerberg. A total of around 900 apartments are being built on 13 building sites, of which 608 are subsidized apartments, and 217 apartments are being implemented as particularly cost-effective SMART apartments. The concept provides for generous individual open spaces, common areas such as a swimming pool on the roof, open water courses, play areas for children and places as well as spaces for communal "urban gardening". Complemented with a school, a kindergarten, shops of local supply and office space, the new residential district offers a wide range of free space. The planning was carried out in a cooperative process involving three architectural firms, specialist planners from various disciplines among them Helga Fassbinder, Foundation Biotope City, and various municipal departments, as well as representatives of the  housing cooperations as developers, and the district. Construction has started in the summer of 2017 and completion is expected in the fall of 2019. With a total construction cost of 100.4 million euros for the subsidized housing projects, the city of Vienna is earmarking a total of 32.0 million euros in subsidies for the creation of low-cost, high-quality living space.

"In the former industrial area, the residential development is taking on new life. With numerous cross building spaces and community facilities, this neighborhood will provide its residents with a particularly high quality of life and living, "says Housing Councilor Michael Ludwig.

"The planned development of the former Coca-Cola reasons is a significant impetus for the district development in Favoriten. Hundreds of new apartments are being built on a former industrial site, and the concept of the Biotope City is also making a valuable contribution to the ecological city, " said District Manager Hermine Mospointner.

Vision of the Biotope City ©Schreiner&Kastler

The project is followed by a research project. This research project, carried out by the BOKU in cooperation with the Foundation Biotope City and several experts and architects is funded by the Climate and Energy Fund. It prepares for the implementation of a set of greening measures that have already been practiced as individuals, but never as part of a systematic and coordinated approach - with an innovative computer supported method for calculating the effects and costs of green cover, new procedures of the maintenance of greening with inclusion of residents as well as integral, cooperative planning procedures.

The concept of 'Biotope City'

The concept Biotope City, which has being developed by the Dutch foundation Biotope City, assumes that urbanization in view of the accompanying environmental consequences of climate change must lead to a new strategy of city-nature cooperation: mechanisms of the nature of self-regeneration must be used to mitigate today's and future pressures on the urban living environment. This means that the climate-effective mechanisms of vegetation for temperature, humidity regulation and air purification as well as for rainwater retention are used. This has implications: one cannot get the integration of increased leaf green (trees, shrubs, green roofs, greening of facades),too, without the associated own life: insects, birds, small mammals. The integration of "nature" into the city also means cohabitation with natural worlds that are inseparable from it. This requires a far-reaching rethinking: it is about no longer seeing the city as an antipole to nature, but as a specific form of nature, in line with the nature typology that we are familiar with: forest, pasture, marsh, rocky mountains, dune etc. This makes obvious that the city is also embedded in the complex relationships of nature.

The impetus for realizing the Biotope City concept on the former Coca-Cola site was given by Harry Glück, who died in 2016, whose anthropogenic and biologist-influenced idea of urban planning manifested itself in his most famous project Alterlaa. To this day, Glück's buildings are synonymous with the highest level of home satisfaction. Encouraged by the idea of the 'dense city as nature', Harry Glück contacted the Biotope City Foundation to build a model of future-oriented urban living and life in Vienna based on the principles of Biotope City. On the former Coca-Cola terrain, it is about a continuation and contemporary refreshing of his intentions of good living also in social housing buildings.

Meanwhile the Team of the International Building Exhibition Vienna 2022 has decided to presented ths project as one of their favorite examples.

More about the project on A BIOTOPE-CITY-QUARTIER FOR VIENNA