One STEP, many steps

Is Vienna fit for the challenges of the future? STEP 2025 is a clear "yes" to this important answer.

panoramic view of Vienna

The future is a matter of planning. A large city will always face many challenges. Vienna distinguishes itself from other cities especially insofar as the challenges of the future are identified, analysed as well as tackled appropriately in the present. The instrument used to perform this task is the Urban Development Plan (Stadtentwicklungsplan, abbreviated as "STEP"). Forward-looking planning is vital, especially with regard to mobility and the real estate sector - two only seemingly conflicting areas. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the duration of project development is measured both in the housing and transport sector in years and not in weeks or months; on the other hand, Vienna is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities. Based on current data, Vienna will grow by the size of Graz - or by 250,000 to 300,000 inhabitants - by 2025.

The task for the future which Vienna is facing now is, to put it in simple terms, to create adequate living space, jobs as well as infrastructure to ensure local supplies, education and recreation. "Adequate" does not only mean appropriate in quantitative terms but also adjusted to the needs of a city which has emerged as the most liveable city - or, in the "worst case" as one of the most liveable cities - in the world in all international rankings for many years. Hence, Vienna is also challenged in qualitative terms.

Together with deputy mayors Renate Brauner and Maria Vassilakou, Vienna’s mayor Michael Häupl presented the 2025 Urban Development Plan on Wednesday, 29 January 2014. The three key items are as follows:

  1. housing
  2. free or green space
  3. mobility


As far as living space is concerned, price stability is of major importance for Vienna’s quality of life. As affordable housing has traditionally been a key policy issue, the City of Vienna has been very active in this area. A surface area for a total of 120,000 flats will be procured by 2015. 50,000 of them are created in the existing urban area, e.g. by building up space between buildings or, where this is considered possible and useful, by supporting the construction of attic storeys and annexes. The term "retroactive densification" is used in this context. In parallel Vienna is expanding. Analogously to the seven new urban developments under construction (including aspern - Vienna’s Urban Lakeside, Sonnwendviertel and the area around the North Station), new areas are opened up for housing constructions. The land is available and has been designated for this specific purpose. Within the framework of the City’s subsidised housing programme, many flats are built to ensure not just housing - but affordable housing.

Green space

The surroundings of accommodation are as important as housing itself. Space not built-up and green areas play a decisive role in ensuring the well-being of the citizens. This is reflected in the 2025 Urban Development Plan. About half of Vienna’s surface consists in green and recreational space - and this remarkable share should not be smaller in 2025. A wide range of different approaches has been bundled into a future-proof strategy covering large-scale projects (such as the planned development of Vienna Woods North East), a not-built-up zone connecting the new urban developments around the North Station and the North West Station as well as general strategies for green space in a thriving city.

Overcoming distance

Mobility issues and the respective plans of the City of Vienna have been addressed by us quite frequently in the past weeks (just enter "mobility" in the above search mask). This is why we summarise the most important facts only briefly. As far as environment-friendly mobility - all types of land transport apart from private cars - is concerned, Vienna boasts a share of 73 per cent. It is the declared goal of the municipal government to reach 80 per cent by 2025. Adequate public transport infrastructure is, however, a prerequisite. aspern Vienna’s Urban Lakeside is a trendsetting model for urban development in the 21st century also in this respect. Another mobility goal is to ensure more space, more transport routes and more safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the 2025 Urban Development Plan.

EUR 3.3 billion are invested to ensure that Vienna’s status as the most liveable city in the world can be taken for granted by the citizens in their everyday lives also in 2025. And from this perspective, an excellent foundation has been laid for Vienna’s future development.


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