Although sunshine and beach weather are a source of joy for most people in Vienna, a long run of very hot days (with temperatures exceeding 30°C) is enough to make even the most dedicated sun-worshippers groan, at least when the heat prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep. Children, elderly people and the chronically ill, in particular, suffer under these very high temperatures. The City of Vienna is providing relief with its climate-adapted streets initiative, one of which is Zieglergasse in the 7th municipal district.
Zieglergasse cool mile
As a very densely built-up district with relatively few green spaces, Neubau is one of the areas most severely affected by climate change. The “Zieglergasse cool mile” project, completed in 2020, is a timely countermeasure. The initiative has created a new shared space with ample seating, while 24 trees provide shade along a kilometre-long stretch of the street. Public water points provide refreshment for people and animals, and cooling arches effectively lower the temperature by several degrees in certain sections.
Traffic-calming measures were also incorporated, with extra-wide pavements and 150 parking spaces for bikes. Areas of light-coloured paving allow rainwater to trickle away more slowly, which helps to improve the microclimate. At the Zieglergasse/Westbahnstraße junction the elevation of a section of roadway created a new public plateau, and an online participatory consultation process allowed local residents to have a say in its design.
Similar “cool street” projects – both permanent and temporary – have been implemented right across Vienna.
The climate-resilient city
Adapting to the consequences of climate change is essential to the city’s future development and forms part of the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy. With its climate-adapted streets initiative the City of Vienna is taking measures to prevent the formation of urban heat islands and thus helping to enhance the well-being and quality of life of its citizens.
District Administration Neubau
This post is also available in: German