IBA Vienna

International Building Exhibition - New Social Housing

IBA -intermediary Presentation

at the former Sophien. Hospital, Stollgasse, 1070 Wien, 28.4. - 18.6.2020: Presentation of all IBA projects (free admission)

IBA_Vienna 2022 – New Ways for the Future of Vienna

Cities are growing in the whole Europe while in the meantime the economy has still to struggle with the consequences of the global financial crisis. Vienna, as a leading city in the area of social housing construction is aware of its responsibility in this regards and has therefore decided to search on time for new ways in order to provide under the given framework conditions to Viennese affordable housing with a high quality in a lively city. PUSH, as the initiator of IBA_Wien, acts as a consultant to IBA_Wien in all terms of content.

New models and procedures related to the issue of social housing will be tested in selected development areas as well as in existing urban structures under the motto “New Social Housing” that shall enable Vienna to face the challenges of the future:  affordability, mobility, good neihghbourhoods and healthy housing are in the focus of the International Building Exhibition, the “IBA_Vienna 2022”.

Reasons for an IBA in Vienna

For many decades, Vienna has a high reputation for its successful social housing policy and for the high standards in housing construction as well as in the urban renewal. The question hence arises, why has Vienna then decided to organize an IBA on the subject of “New Social Housing” and the answer is short: Because the housing in Vienna is also facing the new huge challenges at the beginning of the 21st century.

  • The high paste of growing in the last years of the city which is ongoing. In the near future, Vienna will grow from 1,84 Mio. inhabitants to 2 Mio. which corresponds to half a Million in the last decades. Vienna will reach again its historic peak from the beginning of the 20st century (the so called “Gründerzeit”). Primary responsible for this growth is the international migration, which also reflects the high quality of life for which Vienna is known for. Additional factors add to that picture such as the positive birth balance and the continuously increasing life expectancy. In 2015 for instance, the number of inhabitants of Vienna has increased for 43.000 persons. The City of Vienna has therefore decided to increase the already very high past of housing construction from currently 7.000 flats a year. From 2017 on, the housing construction will reach 9.000 subsidized flats per year and all in all 13.000 new flats shall be provided.
  • The flight to tangible assets such as “concrete gold” has increased also in Vienna the real estate prices even if not so massively as in other comparable European metropoles. The incomes are stagnating in large segments of the population. The City of Vienna provides with gross rents of maximally 7,50 Euro / m² very affordable renting conditions with new municipal flats and especially with the SMART housing programme which is responsible for a third of the new housing construction.
  • Vienna is facing a demographic transformation: On one hand the city population becomes in average younger, and Vienna, which was traditionally the oldest amongst Austrian’s federal units, became lately the “Land” with youngest average population. On the other hand, the number of elderly and very old person’s increases and their specific needs have to be taken into consideration too. This is already been done but these respective efforts will have to be increased in the upcoming future with even more differentiate approaches. Because Vienna in general does not build flats that are all the same and standardized in a way.

  • Finally, Vienna was challenged also by the global events such as the financial crisis and the refugee movement. Social differences increase on a European wide scale. For the City of Vienna it is therefore highly important to pursue a policy of social inclusion and social mix. Vienna is proud that one cannot identify the social status of another person from the mere housing address as it is the case in many other cities in the world. And this shall be the central goal also under economically difficult framework conditions.
  • The challenges of climate change and climate protection to which Austria committed itself i.a. in Paris in 2015 are constantly relevant for the Vienna housing: On one hand, high energetic standards have to be further improved through meaningful, innovative and holistic solutions that are implemented without leading in technological and highly expensive impasses as housing has to stay affordable. On the other hand by increasing the resilience of residential buildings in regards to climate change. Vienna has already now the highest number of multi floor passive houses and will elaborate on future oriented themes in the framework of its smart city activities.

Vienna meets these challenges by proclaiming an International Building Exhibition (IBA according to its German acronym). The IBA_Vienna aims at having a broad and sustainable effect supporting innovations on a variety of levels. 

IBA_Wien „New Social Housing” was initiated by Wolfgang Förster in 2013. Since then PUSH has been acting as consultant to IBA.

IBA Memorandum