Housing of the future - the Vienna Housing Research Programme

Vienna has a long and successful tradition in matters of social housing and urban renewal policy. Initially, primarily municipal rental housing for low-income households was provided, under economically and politically extremely difficult conditions. Today, due to the increasing social diversity, housing policy is facing new challenges and answers are yet to be found:

  • How can housing policy react on population growth , demographic changes or new housing needs and lifestyles ?
  • How to ensure the affordability of housing – especially for low-income groups and migrants ?
  • How are housing supply and housing demand developing on a long term basis –in terms of quality and quantity?
  • What is the significance of the historic housing stock in Vienna and how can urban renewal policies continue to be socially responsible without any quality loss?
  • How can housing and urban renewal policies contribute to climate resilience? Which developments are to be expected in the fields of ecology, civil engineering, energy and building technologies?
  • What correlations exist between habitation and the general economic development?

In order to answer questions like these we need expertise and research providing hard facts and a well-substantiated line of argumentation to develop mid-term strategies and specific programs of the Viennese housing policy.

A framework for Housing Research in Vienna

The research program of the Department for Housing, Housing Construction and Urban Renewal expanded substantially in recent years, not only financially but also in terms of research fields. A new framework program was developed to define current research areas and to integrate research activities into current developments concerning the areas habitation, housing construction and urban renewal.  Since 2011 funding for research projects is accordingly awarded within four defined priorities :

  • Affordable housing: Cost reduction through planning, pilot projects on low-cost housing construction, land-use efficiency in housing construction, financing and subsidy options etc.
  • Technical and ecological qualities and standards for new housing construction: energy consumption, flexibility, timber construction, open spaces, equipment standards etc.
  • Technical and ecological qualities and standards in the refurbishment: energy consumption, open spaces , equipment standards etc.
  • Living in community: Participation, facilitation and management, community facilities, assisted living, social diversity and sustainability, integration, identity.

In addition, the international sector of the Vienna Housing Research Programme presents a cross-sectional approach to assess Viennese experience and achievements in comparison to those of other cities, and to learn from international good practices. At the same time these focus areas allow for enhanced networking with other Austrian and European research programs through participation in EU projects or through bilateral cooperation and thematic partnerships with other cities.

Transparency in the preparation of research results

A stated goal of the Vienna Housing Research Programme is the networking of local and regional research institutions and the promotion of an expert dialogue through the widest possible dissemination of research results.

Therefore, since 2014 the Municipal Department 50 regularly presents the results of research projects in the field of housing and urban regeneration as part of the annual Vienna Housing Research Day with a focus on current issues, as well as through the publication of all completed research reports on this website.