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Social Housing in Vienna

Just like the giant Ferris wheel or  St. Stephen’s  Cathedral, the  Karl-Marx-Hof has long since become a Viennese landmark. And that is no coincidence,  because not only is it impressive from an architectural point of view; it also symbolises the long history of social housing in Vienna. For almost a century now, this singular housing policy has been helping to shape our city.

The roots of these extraordinarily innovative urban planning activities lie in the interwar “Red Vienna” period, when thousands of municipal dwellings were built. The aim was to provide affordable homes of good quality for broad sectors of the population, but  in practice much more was achieved. The housing scheme created complexes which met the criteria of giving people access to “light, fresh air and sunshine”, while also providing them with nurseries, schools, lending libraries and communal facilities such as  laundry rooms.

Between the ground-breaking ceremony for Vienna’s first municipal housing complex, the Metzleinstaler Hof, in 1920 and the current SMART flats programme, the City of Vienna has built 220,000 municipal dwellings for half a million tenants and overseen the building of a further 200,000 subsidised flats. A successful model that is recognised as such both at home and internationally, the City of Vienna’s municipal housing programme continues to make a decisive contribution to the excellent housing standards and quality of life in our city.

Housing in Figures

Is it true that many more people live  in Vienna‘s municipal housing complexes than in Graz, capital of the province of  Styria? And, if you placed all the lifts in  those complexes on top of each other, would they reach to the top of the Himalayas?

610 hectares of green space

are maintained by Wiener Wohnen. That‘s an area equivalent to 854 (FIFA standard)  football pitches.

500,000 people

live in Vienna‘s municipal housing. One in four Viennese citizens lives in one of the city‘s 1,800 or more municipal housing complexes.

13,441,914 square metres of floor space

are let and managed by Wiener Wohnen. That‘s equivalent to the surface area of a fourmetre-wide road from Madrid to Stockholm.

7,600 lifts

can be found in Vienna‘s municipal housing complexes. Placed one on top of the other, they would make a tower twice as high as the Himalayas.

„The municipality is building. Vienna residential construction 1920 to 2020“

is a travelling multimedia exhibition dealing with the importance of social apartment construction in Vienna. Since the early days in the 1st Republic‘s „Red Vienna“ of the 1920s, social residential construction has changed many times and adjusted to new social framework conditions. At the moment, the increasingly large number of single households as well as economic and ecological framework conditions require continuous development of social apartment construction. The exhibition illustrates the continually changing challenges and solutions of Vienna‘s residential policy over a period of almost 100 years. The bandwidth of subjects ranges from architecture to economic basics, from visions to implemented investments.

The outstanding achievements of Vienna’s residential construction are dealt with in the context of the tension between social changes, changing residential needs, urban planning, technical construction progress and architecture. The exhibition ranges from the first municipal building in Vienna, the Metzleinstalerhof, through the diverse residential construction activities in the 20th century to the current residential construction program with its SMART apartments. The top principle of affordable, highquality construction never changed over the course of the last century. Supply of the Viennese with high-quality apartments was and is the central task.

The exhibition is in German and English as well as in English and French and could be seen already in Vienna at the architectural center AZW, in the gallery Aedes in Berlin, in Trieste in Italy at the Viennese Salon and also parallel to the ERHIN Award ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels.

Further information you can find in our folder
"Municipial Housing in Vienna. History, facts & figures."

International relation contact:
Christian Schantl
E-Mail: christian.schantl@wien.gv.at

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