• Interactive model of Seestadt Aspern Interactive model of Seestadt Aspern, © Technisches Museum Wien
The urban future

Interactive model of Seestadt Aspern, Vienna’s urban lakeside development

How ‘green’ is your life? How easily are you able to get about? Do you work nearby? Are you involved in the planning? What are your prospects for growth? An interactive planning table provides answers to some of these questions.

The Seestadt Aspern is one of Europe’s largest urban development projects. By 2018 a new suburb with 20,000 residents will have been created there. But how is such a large planning project implemented? What are the key elements? To find out more, visitors are able to use the augmented reality animations on the interactive planning model. Workshops also provide them with the opportunity to come up with their own ideas for the Seestadt and incorporate them into the model.

Canberra and Brasília, Islamabad, New Delhi, Saint Petersburg and Washington, D.C. Lots of cities were originally plotted on a drawing board. And it’s no coincidence Vienna has so many large thoroughfares and visual axes, too; on the contrary, it’s all part of a plan. Urban planning is always an interplay between these two elements. Coincidence and an idea. But even so, every city has to remain without the bounds of its possibilities. Or be caught up in the excitement of fast changing requirements. Urban development projects are always good opportunities to take a long hard look at the situation as it stands. And the question, always, is how can people live together in the nicest, best, most appropriate way? That would be the goal. And the result, ideally, is a compromise on the part of all those involved. A handshake. The result of a constructive encounter.

Urban planning is an extremely complex process that takes account of the wishes of lots of people and the backdrop to all the preconditions. Professional planning becomes crucial whenever the size of a city or district changes, when circumstances and mindsets change. When randomness is meant to evolve along orderly lines. The aim is to a strike a balance between planning and unconstrained development. For instance, the notion that people from different social strata should settle in a particular urban district is all part of a planning scheme. The result of an evolved idea. A description of outline conditions. After that, people take care of the rest themselves.

Interactive planning model for the Seestadt Aspern, scale of 1:500
Ars Electronica Futurelab, 2016

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