Neglected industrial site becomes eco-friendly beacon for business in Vienna, Austria

A neglected industrial site in East Austria has been given a new lease of life thanks to EU funding. The Liesing industrial park in Vienna has been transformed from an unattractive, unstructured collection of factory buildings into a resource-efficient hub for business and innovation. More than 750 companies are now based at the site, employing around 10 000 people in a range of sectors, making Standpunkt Liesing one of the country’s largest single business districts.

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Standpunkt Liesing  © Helmut Mitter Standpunkt Liesing © Helmut Mitter

" The business district has become more and more important for companies who want to settle in Vienna. Due to the activities carried out by the neighbourhood management, the companies identify even more with this area and have invested approximately EUR 7.6 million in resource-saving measures. Standpunkt Liesing has become a brand in Vienna city planning and was the basis for a new project in the northern part of Vienna called Standpunkt Floridsdorf. "

Andres Pena, business district manager, Standpunkt Liesing

The Standpunkt Liesing project has given the industrial site a new identity both for the companies already based there and other target groups such as employees, politicians and people living nearby. It has become a central hub for strengthening cooperation, developing innovations, providing information about the site and offering consulting services to companies.

The key objectives of the project included establishing a neighbourhood management authority, positioning the park as a resource-efficient industrial site, improving sustainability, advising companies on implementing resource-efficient technologies and stimulating the local property market.

Safeguarding industrial sites

To meet these aims, the project team organised discussions with estate agents, mobility week activities and a series of workshops on sustainable business. They arranged the construction of a photovoltaic solar power station, created a purchasing pool for sustainable procurement and established a network of environmental experts.

More than 800 participants took part in these activities in 2014, including more than 1 100 individual consultations on resource efficiency, photovoltaics and interim use of empty buildings. The project team carried out studies of brand and communication concepts, traffic and public transport potential and resource efficiency. 

Their activities attracted attention from politicians, city planners and industry and were a key input for work on the ‘industrial areas’ technical aspect of the Vienna: STEP 2025 urban development plan. This is geared towards safeguarding large-scale, well-developed industrial sites for the long term and limiting the increasing trend of repurposing sites for residential use. 

The project also involved considerable investment in climate protection. In 2014, a total of 29 companies implemented some 130 measures with a total capital expenditure of more than €7 million: this was put towards reducing  the consumption of raw materials, water and electricity. Measures were also taken to reduce waste and pollutants and increase regenerative energy use. 

Of the capital expenditure, heating energy reduction accounted for 47 %, reducing electricity consumption 32 % and regenerative energy use 9 %. The focus at Liesing will continue to be on the conservation of resources and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Long-term future guaranteed

Today the Liesing industrial site, surrounded by new large-scale residential neighbourhoods, is secured for the long term as well as being more environmentally friendly. Its funding has been extended until the end of 2019 through capital from the project partners once the EU financing ends. 

There are three project partners, each contributing equally to the budget. The Vienna Chamber of Commerce handles legal representation for the companies at the site. The Vienna Business Agency is the business development authority of the City of Vienna; it owns significant property for business settlement in Vienna and at the project site. Municipal Department 21 is the urban planning department responsible for zoning and building regulations in the City of Vienna; it can quickly implement necessary changes and ensure a high degree of planning certainty. Video:

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Resource-Efficient Industrial Park Liesing” is EUR 1 578 934, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 605 452 through the “Strengthening the regional competitiveness and integrated urban development in Vienna” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Integrated urban development”.

 

Draft date

30/08/2018