Vibrant – not just beautiful
The use of public space
What is needed to fill public spaces with life are people wishing to make them their own. Vienna has come up with clear-cut guidelines on how to design urban space and to render it economically and socially. Involving the residents of Vienna during the planning stage is one of the key principles, since it stands to reason that public space designed to meet the diverse needs of its users will gain lasting acceptance.
The City of Vienna's position on the use of public space has been defined in detail and published in a mission statement. The focus is on the provision of services, on amenities and design and on the management of public spaces.
Work of the Municipal Department for Architecture and Urban Design (MA 19) centres on designing and furnishing public spaces with the emphasis on combining function with cost-efficiency.
In the mission statement a number of sub-topics are set out under the heading of design and furnishing:
- Design as a learning system:
Satisfactory response to user interests is the benchmark for design. With this in mind, social space analyses relating to potential future users and target groups are carried out in the run-up to specific planning.
- Identification through involvement:
Participatory processes enhance the identification of residents with their "open spaces"
- Making allowance for different needs:
Life stages, gender roles and cultural background are registered and explicitly attended to during design processes.
- Ageability and changeability: Spaces need to be adjustable to changing demands without requiring costly investments.
- Scope for the unexpected:
There should be room in public spaces for creative, spatial and action-oriented interventions.
- Interdisciplinary quality assurance:
When setting up juries, care must be taken to ensure interdisciplinarity.
After the mission statement has been developed, the next steps have already been taken. The key requirements defined in the mission statement will be implemented in a number of pilot projects. Hence, a comprehensive social space analysis was conducted in the run-up to the design competition for the re-design of Meidlinger Hauptstraße and was taken account of in the call for entries. Furthermore, the evaluation of Christian-Broda-Platz (Mariahilfer Platzl), which was re-designed in 2007, included not only an assessment of its quality of use, but also an analysis of the preceding re-design procedure.
Municipal Department 19 prepares schemes for the management of existing open space, which serve as an objective and reproducible basis for the assessment of private uses (e.g. Favoritenstraße, City Centre Pedestrian Zone). Differentiated management can achieve a balance between individual and community interests.
The 50 sites programme (50-Orte-Programm), which was launched in 2001, placed special emphasis on the public space as a place for recreation, leisure activities, communication and shopping. Its successor, "50 sites plus" (50-Orte-Plus) continues the programme after 2010.
The study series on the "re-interpretation of public space" for Vienna's densely builtup urban area provides a long-term development plan for the public spaces of the individual districts together with networks of places, sites and routes.
Facts & Figures
approx. 300,000 m2 of attractive space were completed since the beginnig.
More projects are to be implemented
Partners in crafting the Mission Statement - authors:
- schwarzundschwarz architekten
DI Markus Damm
Tel. +43 1 4000 84268
Fax +43 1 4000 7997
- Stadt Wien - Architektur und Stadtgestaltung
- Wettbewerbsübersicht der Stadtplanung Wien
- Handbuch für Marktstände auf dem Brunnenmarkt
- Schanigartenfolder über Lage, Größe und Gestaltung der Schanigärten