This is how the open area car-parking lot of the Naschmarkt looks like now, Source: City of Vienna

See how Vienna plans to cool its largest urban heat island – Naschmarkt

See how Vienna plans to cool its largest urban heat island – Naschmarkt

This is where the city’s iconic flea market takes place every Saturday

You may know Vienna for its classical cafes, but to local gourmands the most iconic place is the Naschmarkt – a large food market which sprawls over an open urban space 1.5-km long. Part of this open space is set aside as a parking lot, which turns it every summer in the largest inner-city heat island of the Austrian capital. It can be described, in fact, as an asphalt desert.

Committed to a solution, the Vienna City Council presented today the concept that won the tender to transform said heat island into a more vibrant and green space.

The citizens wanted a green, consumption-free place to linger, space for creative things and regional products as well as the preservation of the flea market,” explained district mayor Markus Rumelhart, summarizing the residents’ concerns.

From asphalt desert to greenery park

Now where there are parked cars and heated asphalt pavement, the city previews the creation of a still-open but easier-to-cool-down space, thanks to the planting of 65 trees as well as the creation of roof gardens on top of the market stalls. In that sense, not much will change, while a lot will change – as far as the experience and the visual aspect of the space is concerned.

Due to the Vienna River arch below, tree planting is only possible in the peripheral areas. In the middle of the square, extensive green areas and grass beds will provide unsealing and cooling. With the planting of colourful perennials and a blooming urban forest mixture, the now desolate concrete area is transformed into a sea of ​​flowers for all the senses.

“Hydrating” the open urban space

The theme of “water” runs through the entire concept; water features and mist steles can be found along the entire area. The central feature is a 250 m² large, flexibly controllable water feature that offers cooling for young and old.

As stated in the master plan, the project area was also expanded to include the area of ​​the country party square, east of Kettenbrückengasse. The winning project envisages a new “market space” on this same area.

It is a market that can be used all year round for connoisseurs and those with a sweet tooth, including a blooming roof garden that invites you to linger. This solution gives the Naschmarkt an attractive entrance from the west and at the same time a worthy, second architectural finish. 

The thing is, while it has a clearly defined entrance coming from the Karlsplatz side, the market goes towards the Chain Bridge without any noticeable completion - it literally “runs out”.

Work in transforming the heat island marketspace is scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2024 or almost a year from now.



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