2012–2014 Guidelines for the built environment of the City of Vienna

Consultancy for the development process for guidelines and a program for the built environment of the City of Vienna, commissioned by MA 19 – Architektur und Stadtgestaltung (architecture and urban design).
As planned in the Vienna coalition agreement 2011, guidelines for the built environment for Vienna and a more comprehensive program for the built environment were developed in a participatory process. The Vienna City Council adopted on 29 April 2014 guidelines for the built environment. The planning department was asked to initiate the necessary process.

The guidelines of building culture can be ordered here free of charge or the text can be downloaded. As a result of the project, an exhibition on the topic was held at the Vienna Planungswerkstatt in autumn 2014. In addition, annual working groups on building culture topics were organised, the first one dealing with education and building culture.

This film was produced for the presentation of the guidelines on 13 May 2014: The film Baukultur Wien shows 7 personal flashes on the topic by Niki Glattauer, Cecily Corti, Sasha Pirker, Gerfried Sperl, Tarek Leitner, Siegfried Mattl and Eva Blimlinger.

The Vienna planning department wrote an “Architecture declaration” already in 2005, but this paper is hardly known inside of the city administration as well as outside. The government policy statement of 2010 declares that guidelines for the built environment shall be developed. I received the commission to steer the development process and do the editorial work.

The guidelines shall help to increase the level of quality of the built environment. The means for that is awareness raising inside of the city administration and in companies related to the city so that all actors dealing with the built environment awake to their responsibility. The city acting exemplary in relation to building culture shall lead indirectly to all private actors in Vienna taking on their responsibility as well.

To achieve broad awareness and fixing of the guidelines in the city administration, we started the development process with a series of 35 interviews with almost all concerned departments and companies and a few external actors as well. Based on the content derived from the interviews, we conducted an internal workshop and another one with approximately 50 internal and external participants. This event was the initial point for the first written version which was finally put up for discussion in another big workshop. The remarks of the participants were integrated. After that, a coordination process with the concerned departments and political actors took place. At the beginning of 2014, a final text version of the guidelines for adoption by the City Council and of the program for the built environment to be used by the planning department were completed.

The program’s core, the guidelines for the built environment, were adopted by the City Council on 29 April 2014. The City Council requested from the City Council Office and from the companies related to the city to use the guidelines as a rule for action.