Creative and functional green in the city
Public space turned into a city garden, example 1
Public space turned into a city garden, example 2
Construction office containers in the city centre with ‘balcony’ flowers and climbing plants (left corner) to, at some point, cover the facade of the containers. Presumably, the flower decoration was a requirement from the city to the contractor, since the location is next to some historical buildings (Burgtheater, City Hall).
The Danube island is a 20 km long, narrow stretch of land close to the city centre between the main Danube river and the new Danube. It is reclaimed land constructed in the historic flood plains, created for recreational purpose when digging the flood protection channel the new Danube. The area attracts 300,000 people on a good summer weekend for swimming, outdoor sports and picnics and it also used for festivities like concerts and sports events.
The first measures date from around 1875 when a central bed, 280 m, was dug out, and an inundation area of 450 m was created at the river’s left bank. Shown below a map from 1920.
In 1970 started the digging of an additional channel to replace the former inundation area (Ueberschwimmungsgebiet in map, or ‘uiterwaarden’ in Dutch) and using the removed earth to build up the remaining strip of land between the straightened bed from the 19th century flood defence schemes and the newly created one. The new channel is called the Neue Donau (New Danube). After the completion of the works it was envisaged that the resulting island, in total about 20 km long should eventually be used for recreation. The works were started in 1972 and finished in 1988, including the construction of water level regulation sluices.
The Danube island is visible on the picture as the long stretch of land between UN city (skyscrapers on the left) and the city centre (middle and right). The water on the right is the main Danube river with left of it the new Danube channel, occasionally used as a flood relief reservoir (by raising the water level) and for recreation.
At the time of taking my pictures, the regulated Danube island lake had just been filled to relieve the high waters in the main Danube river. This temporarily flooded the lower cycle path, shown on the picture below, but the water level has just been lowered again.
More than a flood protection project the Danube island area is known as a recreational area. The picture shows some of the ‘drinks and food’ pavilions, also renting out boats, rollerblades and bicycles. The following pictures show some of the rollerblading/cycling tracks and barbecue spots.
Good views on the city’s wineyards under the Kahlenberg. Although within the city boundaries, no housing development is allowed in the wine area and it serves, besides the Danube island and the forests (Wienerwald) as a main green cycling and walking area.
The city of Vienna has since centuries been blessed with an abundance green parks and tree lined boulevards in the centre and forests and wineyards around the city. The continued green approach with examples shown in this presentation contributes to an even greener city, also taking into account the recreational needs of the city inhabitants. High ‘livability’ ratings the city always receives in international ratings is the proof of a wise and sustainable approach and makes it a great place to live in.
Looking forward welcoming you in Vienna soon!
Hans van Os