Foto: Schiestlhaus

Indicators for urban areas – for construction, operation and mobility in climate-friendly areas

Development and coordination of indicators for energy and ecological evaluations of urban areas based on the Swiss 2000-Watt certification system. The results will be used for the development of a quality assurance system for urban areas similar to the klimaaktiv declaration for buildings and the e5 certification for communities.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

The Paris agreement legitimizes the 2-degree-objective on international level. Climate change should be limited to a maximum of 2-degree rise in temperature. Contracting states commit themselves to take all necessary measures to reduce greenhouse-gas-emissions in order to reach this objective.

International studies suggest, that 1 ton of CO2 per person and year or 2000-Watts continuous power per person are compatible with the climate goal. Regions and communities in Switzerland have decided by democratic vote to follow the principle of a 2000-Watts-Society. Until 2050 they want to reach this objective by sophisticated list of measures.

One of these efforts is the development of a certification system for 2000-Watt urban areas. Switzerland demonstrates how crucial dimensions of sustainable urban planning can be integrated into an instrument for planners, developers and public decision makers.

Contents and goals

Austria is attempting to develop a comparable system. However, due to different conditions and frameworks it is not possible to simply transfer the Swiss tool. Some of the fundaments for introducing a certification system for urban areas in Austria still have to be created.

Parameters and their values to describe a sustainable energy use are not available. In the area of construction various systems with parameters and values have been established over the last year. However, they are limited to the scale of particular buildings and on the scale of urban areas many questions are still to be answered.

Two principles are generating a fundamental change:

  • Firstly the scope of assessment shifts. The scale basis will no longer be energy use per surface (m²) but energy use per person.
  • Secondly additional dimensions are being integrated. In addition to the energy consumption of a building the energy use (and CO2 emissions) of construction and mobility are becoming part of the assessment.


Looking at the development of parameters and values in Austria there are two main questions which have to be processed:

  • Definition of a CO2-emission-goal per head. How can the 2-degree-objective be operationalized in Austria?
  • Deduction of quantitatively measurable parameters for urban areas including parameter values for all three dimensions (construction, operation and mobility). What are the specific values (CO2-emissions and energy consumption) for urban areas in order to contribute to reaching the Austrian climate goals?

Expected results

This project aims to find answers to these questions and thereby wishes to make a substantial contribution to the development of a certification system for urban areas in Austria.

Project Partners

Project management

SIR – Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing

Project or cooperation partners

  • IBO – Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building
  • Research Studios Austria
  • Energy Institute Vorarlberg

Contact Address

Oskar Mair am Tinkhof
Schillerstraße 25
Tel.: +43 (662) 62 34 55-32, +43 (662) 62 34 55-15

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