Walk the Line

architects Architekten Tillner & Willinger
project Vienna Terraces, Vienna, Austria
written by Manuela Hötzl


 Vienna is growing, as fast as never before. Its population is predicted to rise to two million in 2030, i.e., roughly 250,000 more. Such growth was last recorded at the turn of the century. As today, the Vienna City Council was, back then, assigned major urban planning tasks: the new zoning plan, revised high-rise guidelines, the presentation of Viennese architectural principles, the Glacis Master Plan, and the debate on world cultural heritage. They all indicate, however, that something is happening, not only in specific areas. It is not surprising that the growth has also been accompanied by the increasing number of debates regarding public space. This refers equally to the design of public spaces or parks as well as to urban open space planning or alternative transport routes. Nevertheless, in the city’s history the topic of urban open space did not turn out to be easy. Many years of discussion and numerous concepts of Karlsplatz or the long process of the realization of Schwarzenbergplatz, are not necessarily the highlights of Vienna’s spatial planning. In this field, however, recent years have also seen projects which develop long-term and sustainability concepts, and devote close attention to public space. An example: the long swathe of the Wiental River Valley in Vienna, designed by Otto Wagner.