Throughout Europe, cities are growing faster than the economies. As a leader in the urban social housing construction, Vienna decided to start the process to find new ways to offer affordable and high quality living space in a liveable city in good time as part of “IBA_Wien 2022 – Neues soziales Wohnen“ (IBA_Vienna – New Social Housing). As a result, IBA_Wien intentionally focusses less on present day problems and more on the challenges of the future, which not only face Vienna, but also many other cities in Europe. Vienna has experienced above average population growth for many years, so not only are new buildings needed, the city’s existing buildings also need developing, as does the coexistence in the urban space at a very fundamental level. IBA_Wien is a project of the City of Vienna, coordinated by Wolfgang Förster, who heads up the process together with his deputy Kurt Hofstetter.
IBA_Wien has three guiding themes:
New social neighbourhoods: Cities do not stand still, they are constantly dynamic. Based on this understanding, the goal is to initiate, shape and supervise urban succession processes to new social, inclusive districts. Among other things, new ways to distinguish lifestyles, new forms of work and employment opportunities and solutions to mobility needs must be found.
New social qualities: The requirements for housing have changed significantly in recent decades: Increasing costs on the property market, new standards and norms as well as constantly growing expectations of apartment standards increase the price of living space. IBA_Wien aims to find solutions for dealing with social change, social sustainability in districts, and affordability of living in general.
New social responsibility: Increasing strains on municipal budgets, as the percentage of people in difficult situations, represent challenges for the development and redefinition of the existing tools in subsidised housing construction.
These guiding themes form the framework for activities in the coming years and beyond. The first IBA Accompanying Projects are already underway, including “IBA meets Schools”, which provides teaching resources to help schoolchildren investigate the topic of housing, or the exhibition on the Per-Albin-Hansson housing estate, which marks the beginning of further development projects in the housing estate complex. The first housing developer competition to focus on the topics of IBA_Wien has also taken place. In 2020, Vienna plans to hold an interim presentation of the projects developed by then for discussion. In 2022, the presentation year, it will then be possible to visit both urban development as well as socially innovative projects in the focal areas of new building, the redevelopment of existing housing and models for living together. IBA_Wien strengthens Vienna’s global reputation as a pioneer of innovative housing, and it will share its experiences with other cities.