Citizens' ideas for Vienna's climate

18. December 2022
Stadt Wien

The climate crisis affects everyone. The City of Vienna had therefore launched the project "Vienna Climate Team". For the districts of Margareten, Simmering and Ottakring, all residents were called upon to contribute their climate protection ideas. Randomly selected citizen juries decided in November 2022 which project ideas should be implemented in their districts. Condition: Each idea must have a positive climate impact and be able to be implemented by the City of Vienna within two years.

With the Vienna Climate Team, the City of Vienna says it was breaking new ground in participation and cooperation: "Viennese can directly help shape their living environment and put their ideas into practice together with politicians and administrators. All participants pull together and learn from each other. The Vienna Climate Team thus sets an example for joint action, which we so urgently need in the fight against the climate crisis," it says on the city's website.

Six fields of action

In April and May 2022, the inhabitants of the Austrian capital developed ideas in six fields of action:

  • Being climate-friendly on the road
  • Using renewable energy
  • Eat and drink sustainably
  • Share and reuse
  • Making urban space climate-friendly
  • Raising awareness and working together

In this phase, action weeks with events in public spaces and project workshops took place in the districts. The ideas could be sent both online and via postcard. In addition, more than 30 multipliers visited the Viennese directly in their neighbourhoods to talk to them and work on ideas together.

1,110 ideas submitted

Participants in the participation process contributed a total of 1,110 ideas. These ideas were reviewed by urban experts to determine whether they were effective and feasible. The basis for this was a catalogue of criteria and the experts' professional assessment.

Proposals were accepted

  • that contribute to a sustainable and liveable Margareten, Simmering and Ottakring.
  • that contribute to social justice, community building and a good life for many population groups.
  • which can probably be technically and legally implemented within two years by the city or on behalf of the city/districts.
  • that serve the public interest and do not only benefit individuals. The ideas must not violate Austrian law. They must not contain traits of extremism, fundamentalism and xenophobia and must neither discriminate nor promote violence.
  • that must not involve double funding.  However, different funding and financing possibilities can be used for different parts of the project. Running costs must be kept low. It must be possible for the running costs to be covered by the city, the district or the citizens.
  • that do not conflict with existing planning and strategies of the City of Vienna.
  • that concern areas over which the City of Vienna, according to the City Constitution, has an influence directly, via the districts of Margareten, Simmering or Ottakring, or via companies of the City of Vienna, and which lie within its areas of responsibility.

102 concrete projects

A selection of 238 ideas was nominated for the next phase "elaborate projects". All idea providers received feedback on their ideas submitted on a participation platform. They were also invited to workshops that were held to flesh out the ideas.

The 238 selected ideas were bundled thematically and in terms of content by the idea providers together with experts from the City of Vienna. The result was 102 concrete projects, which have been evaluated by the citizen juries drawn representatively from the city districts. The project ideas ranged from urban greening and unsealing of surfaces to advice centres for renewable energies, eco-toilets, rainwater use, climate-friendly nutrition and a better bicycle infrastructure to exchange shelves and the founding of a sustainability academy.

19 winning projects

On 16 December 2022, the 19 winning projects were presented. For Margareten, these are a facade greening, a regular climate day, a greening zone in Margaretenstraße, a superblock and a repair café. Ottakring will be enriched by three major climate-friendly measures: a place of good climate will be created around Ottakring station, Neulerchenfeld will get a superblock and Friedrich-Kaiser-Gasse will be traffic-calmed and greened.

In Simmering, a nature park, meadow areas, a nature trail, a fresh air filling station, land unsealing, more greening, better bicycle connections, eco-toilets, a new public park, an insect-friendly green meadow and a worm hotel were selected.

6.5 million euros for climate projects

In total, the City of Vienna is providing 6.5 million euros for the climate projects of the citizens of the three pilot districts. As early as 2023, the selected projects will be implemented by the responsible departments of the City of Vienna. In 2023, another budget of 6.5 million euros will be available for new winning projects in the districts Mariahilf, Währing und Floridsdorf.

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