How geodata can help shape the future
GIS applications in urban planning
A geographical information system, or GIS for short, is able to turn figures into pictorial representations of the cityscape. This is hard to believe given the sheer amount of data needed to come up with maps and relevant information as well as new insights. The GIS technology is pivotal when it comes to taking methodical steps forward in urban planning activities and has hence become a key decision support tool.
The importance of geographic information science for urban planning activities is growing all the time. Applying geoinformatics helps disseminate the latest research findings, and GIS-based methods always bring added value to analytical processes. This approach allows complex data to be simplified and presented graphically, making it easier - and often constituting the first basic step - for several people to work together on the same project. What is more, GIS-based urban development helps cut the number of on-site measurement and data capture missions.
The data used in GIS applications originates in different departments and covers different topics. In the GIS, all of this data is merged and correlated in order to form the basis for further analysis. It is often also possible to include data from other fields, such as statistically aggregated data from the citizens' registration office, and display them in parallel.
Project: Underground transport planning
The aim of the project is to define the exact location for an underground station entrance. The GIS team of the Municipal Department for Urban Development and Planning (MA 18) has developed a new method to provide decision-making support. The primary objective is to find a location for underground station access that allows as many citizens as possible living in the neighbourhood to reach the station along the shortest possible route. The challenge for the planners now lies in the fact that data on the number of inhabitants is only available on a block-by-block basis, but not for each individual building. Given the size of street blocks, however, it is important to calculate the distance to the underground station from each individual building. The solution is to break down the statistical data in proportion to cubage and in line with actual land use, which permits building representation to be simplified from areal to point representation. Then it is possible to measure the exact distance from any given address to the station entrance along the existing systems of streets and footpaths. This form of data analysis is being applied for the first time in underground transport system planning.
Project: Actual land use mapping
Information about actual land use is of crucial importance for urban planning. Technical progress has allowed orthophotos to be supplemented with statistical data since 2007, permitting land use categories to be mapped that are not visible in simple aerial photography, but highly relevant for urban planning. The result is adequate hierarchical classification.
This type of actual land use mapping is unmatched in Austria, and the relevant expertise is in high demand from other municipalities.
Facts & Figures
Building density in Vienna:
- All of Vienna's 8 most densely built-up districts are inner districts, located within the Gürtel ring road.
- The 3 high-end districts in the west, Penzing, Hietzing and Döbling, and the 2 districts across the Danube, Floridsdorf and Donaustadt, have the lowest building density.
- The average net floor area ratio (NFAR) in Vienna's built-up area is 1.2.
- The largest cubic capacity is found in the 22nd district (53 million m3).
- The lowest cubage is found in 2 of Vienna's most densely-built up districts, districts 6 and 8 (approx. 10 million m3).
- The district featuring the highest buildings is Vienna's first district (Innere Stadt), with an average building height of 23.3 metres.
Vienna - total:
- 13% of Vienna's urban area is built up. This is equivalent to 53 km2 or a builtup area covering all inner districts and districts 12 and 20.
- Currently, Vienna has an above-ground gross floor area of approx. 161 million m3 and a cubage of 573 million m3.
DI Rainer Müller
Tel. +43 1 4000 84267
Fax +43 1 4000 7997