Plans for the new Biotope district, Source: City of Vienna

Mixing public parks with affordable housing? Vienna says ‘yes’

Mixing public parks with affordable housing? Vienna says ‘yes’

The new Biotop Wildquell will start construction in 2025 on the site of an old paint factory; it will provide hundreds of affordable, climate-adapted housing units

Today, authorities in Vienna announced a new project for the reconstruction of an old paint factory with an adjacent open space into affordable housing and green space. The project is called Biotop Wildquell and construction is set to start in 2025 with an end date of 2028.

A green and car-free district

Vienna has been trying to implement district biotope concepts for some time, with various redevelopment projects around the city. The idea behind biotope projects is to create a whole district with climate change in mind.

Often they include green spaces incorporated into vertical structures, soil unsealing, strategically placed water basins and car-free concepts. One of the most well-known examples is the Favoriten Biotope City, which cools incoming air currents by two degrees Celsius, just by passing through the buildings.

In the new Biotop Wildquell, authorities plan to unseal all the previously sealed operational area near the old paint factory and turn it into a park. The park would also be integrated with affordable housing units sprawling out of the old industrial buildings.

According to an official statement, the area would have 920 new affordable housing units, a total of 2/3 of the available space. The plan also calls for ‘pulling’ the green space between the residential space, to create a holistic green urban district.

When complete, it will offer residents a recreational green space on their doorstep. Furthermore, the redevelopment project calls for keeping old trees while employing densely planted areas to maximise green coverage. This would also soak up both heat and excess rainwater.

The district would have the capacity to store around 121 tons of rainwater, which would then help feed the green spaces, both around and directly on the buildings.



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