Vienna the city with high quality of life

: Vienna is the city with the highest quality of life. Could you point out the key aspects of a city with high quality of life?

city:one 2017-11-14 16:08 Dipl.-Ing. Thomas MADREITER : City of Vienna‘s Director of Urban Planning Governance ICT technology

Quality of life is a multidimensional phenomenon and the sum total of numerous infl uencing variables. High-quality, aff ordable housing and an attractive housing environment as well as adequately remunerated work that ensures the coverage of all
basic needs in life are key factors for the livability of Vienna. In addition to socioeconomic parameters, further key dimensions serve to defi ne it: thus the individual’s life satisfaction interacts with his or her career and educational attainments, with the quality of the environment and nature, with safety and security, with social participation, leisure quality and culture as well as with openness and diversity of gender roles; fi nally, physical, psychological and social health, too, is important. In this context, it is essential to continue the Viennese approach of social inclusion, which ensures the participation of all, irrespective of their background, physical and psychological condition, sexual orientation
and gender identity.

: Central Europe cities start to formulate their visions and
strategic goals. What is the long term vision of Vienna development and what strategic goals have been set out? Who worked on the vision and goals and how the citizens were involved?

The fi rst step was the development of the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy, which was adopted by the Vienna City Council on 25 June 2014. The “Smart City Wien Framework Strategy” is a long-term umbrella strategy. The vision: best quality of life for
all people in the city – combined with maximum resource preservation, which is brought about by comprehensive innovations. Each of the central areas and the therein specifi ed topicsare underpinned through precisely defi ned objectives. A total of 38 specifi c objectives were defi ned in the Smart City Vienna Framework
Strategy. These objectives for example include a signifi - cant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the establishment of the innovation triangle Vienna-Brno-Bratislava or the further development of aff ordable housing. Recently a comprehensive
monitoring mechanism was implemented in order to better evaluate progress and to refi ne objectives.

The Smart City initiative acts as the Smart City platform for all stakeholders in the City of Vienna. That includes private businesses, start-ups, NGOs, research institutions, civil society organisations and of course the citizens.

Involving the citizens in the initiative is important, but a challenge at the same time. As a long-term and holistic initiative the Smart City Wien project can only function if it is developed and shared with the citizens. After all, they are the ones that are aff ected by the city’s development in their daily lives. However, before being able to promote a fruitful cooperation with the citizens they need to be introduced to the “Smart City
Wien” theme. Thus, building awareness, for example through workshops and social media, is an important tool for the Smart City Wien initiative.

: How Vienna measure the impacts of its projects and how the project to achieve the goals are selected?

The eff ects of Smart City Wien projects are best measured by looking at the objectives stated in the framework strategy. In order to be able to keep track of those eff ects a monitoring process was designed. For each objective a small group of experts was assembled that meets regularly, discusses the progress of a given objective, and reports its fi ndings to a coordination group. Thus measures
can be taken and objectives can be refi ned. Due to the wide variety of objectives, experts from numerous municipal departments had to be found in order to achieve the broad knowledge base that was required to properly conduct this process.

It is important that public as well as private players jointly work towards achieving the goals of the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy. In the past there have been projects initiated by public entities, by private companies as well as projects that have been realised through public- private-partnerships. The ultimate requirement for a project to be a Smart City Wien project is that it serves the purpose of bringing us
closer to the achievement of one of the objectives. The pivotal motivator for projects can thus vary. Projects can among others emerge through political initiative, EU calls, or through the identifi cation of market opportunities. In the future projects will also be initiated after the discovery of shortcomings from the monitoring process.

: What technology innovations to support “green agenda” the city implements, or plans to implement?

Innovation is one of three central aspects of the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy. The overall objective calls for Vienna to become “an innovation leader by 2050 due to top-end research, a strong economy and education”. This goal is supported by specifi
c targets in the areas of Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI), economy and education. Technological innovations that have been integrated into Smart City Wien projects include Big Data, LED street lighting, a new effi cient technology to use the energy from metro brakes and many more. Vienna does not only try to make use
of new technologies, but also to develop them. The project ViennaGreenCO2
developed a new CO2 separation process that can remove up to 90% of the carbon dioxide from exhaust gases, which can thereafter be re-used for example in agriculture.

: How an innovative company from Central Europe can be introduced to Vienna and off er its solutions?

The Vienna Business Agency has been supporting the business location Vienna for over 30 years. It is the fi rst point of contact for national and international companies. It off ers fi nancial support, real 9 estate and urban development incentives as well as free service and advice. The objective is to strengthen companies’ innovative
force. As a result, the business location is sustainably developed and strengthened in international competition. The Vienna Business Agency prioritises and promotes the defi ned focal strengths of the city: life sciences, urban technologies, creative industries and ICT. Innovations are the key to commercial success and ensure the
long-term development of the business location.

A special programme off ered by the Vienna Business Agency is the Vienna Start-up Package. It is a two months’ program that supports selected international start-ups who want to develop their business idea in Vienna and explore the Austrian and European market. In 2017 the package is awarded to twelve promising start-ups that will join the city’s community for a two months’ period with extensive support. The Vienna Start-up Package includes: cost of travel to Vienna (within Europe), accommodation for 2 months, place in a co- -working apace for two months, 10-hours coaching and an introduction to Vienna’s start-up scene.

: Which Vienna smart project (projects) is the most important from your point of view?

There is no single most important Smart City Wien project, but there are showcase projects such as the Citizens’ Solar Power Plants by the city-owned energy provider Wien Energy. By investing in community-funded solar power plants, Viennese citizens have the opportunity to participate in the development of renewable energies.
Since May 2012, more than 6,000 Viennese citizens have contributed to the development of renewable power within the city. Wien Energie has realised 24 solar energy projects and 4 wind turbines. The 26,000 panels of the solar power plants generate a total of approximately 6.8 megawatt-peak (MWp). The energy is fed into
the Vienna power grid and provides solar power for approximately 3,000 local households.

Also Smarter together is a remarkable project: The local inhabitants of the traditional district of Simmering as well as the City of Vienna numerous partners and enterprises develop joint actions for an urban district with a high quality of life. In the EU subsidised Project “Smarter together” Smart City implementations such as e-mobility
and shared mobility and the large scaled refurbishment of buildings blocks are carried out in dialogue with the people.

: What would you recommend to Central Europe cities and how Vienna could help?

Climate change and a severe shortage of natural resources, especially fossil fuels, represent the big global challenges of the coming decades. They will determine the future design of cities as living spaces. 75% of the CO2 emissions throughout the world is currently caused by burning fossil fuels in cities. The trend towards urbanisation that we currently experience globally compounds the challenge
for cities to be sustainable. A smart city initiative can serve as a framework for a city in order to embrace the opportunities that emerge and to reach the goals of the Paris agreement. Finding the right approach for a city can be a challenging endeavour, but
through thorough research and guidance you can develop a strategy that will be backed by all stakeholders and a framework that promotes working towards the same goals. The City of Viennawill always have an open mind to form new partnerships, to help other cities fi nd their way and to establish new channels for knowledge exchange.

Časopis city:one

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