A green square - redevelopment of Schwedenplatz

The redevelopment of Schwedenplatz is long overdue. The city of Vienna wanted to know what the city’s inhabitants expect from a new Schwedenplatz. The results of the survey have now been analysed.

Schwedenplatz with rail tracks, bus in the background

View from Schwedenplatz to the other bank of the Danube Canal: the new design of the square is to bring more nature into the city

As it is, Schwedenplatz is not everything it might be. The people of Vienna are aware that there are good reasons why the square currently resembles a work in progress. But there are even better reasons for making more of the square’s potential. The first step was a public survey to find out what the Viennese expected of Schwedenplatz.

Around 2,000 people took part in the survey. The results have now been analysed. The planners thus know what local residents, visitors and people who work nearby want, and they can begin to consider ways of satisfying these demands. Because the area is not a defined entity, however, the project has been split up into subdivisions.

  • Morzinplatz to Rotenturmstrasse
  • Schwedenplatz central
  • Schwedenplatz-Hotelvorplatz
  • Franz-Josefs-Kai

What the Viennese want

The emphasis in the first three areas differs slightly but in general there are two main demands: more green space and improved traffic organisation, including public transport, which currently takes up a vast amount of space. Franz-Josefs-Kai is a main road and naturally has other priorities. The majority of those surveyed want to see road traffic restricted and better access to the Danube Canal.

General picture

footpath, green area on the left and on the right

The square was completely re-designed in 1978 when the underground station was built there

Basically the people of Vienna want an attractive space that invites them to sit and relax: green spaces, shop-free areas, better control and reduction of traffic, a limited number of food outlets and sufficient seating. Buses and trams should take up less space and if possible the filling station should be removed altogether. A new landmark, in the form perhaps of a monument on Schwedenplatz, would also be welcome.

This shows that the people surveyed regard, and would like to use, the entire area as a central recreational space. The demand for toilets and benches is just the most striking expression of this opinion.

The planners can now consider how to transform an extensive area into a green, urban recreational space with architectural highlights, intelligently organised traffic management with fewer cars and allowance for bicycles and pedestrians, and safe access to the Danube Canal and city centre. The design competition closes in April 2014. It will be interesting to see what kind of elegant solutions are proposed for this complex problem.

The results in detail - top three wishes by subdivision

  • Morzinplatz
    • 1. Recreational green space: 14.2 percent
    • 2. Morzinplatz as quiet zone: 12 percent
    • 3. Gestapo memorial as dominant element: 11.5 percent
  • Schwedenplatz central
    • 1. Improved public transport organisation: 13.8 percent
    • 2. More visible plants: 13 percent
    • 3. Improved pedestrian passages: 12 percent
  • Area in front of the hotel
    • 1. Better vegetation: 25 percent
    • 2. Better pedestrian access from Schwedenplatz central to area in front of the hotel: 21.8 percent
    • 3. Consumption-free seating: 18.9 percent
  • Franz-Josefs-Kai
    • 1. Improved access from city centre to Danube Canal: 22.5 percent
    • 2. Restricted traffic on the Kai: 19.6 percent
    • 3. Removal of filling station to gain space: 12.5 percent

Source: wieninternational.at

Further information

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