- Development of a Vision 2030 for a Digital Building Authority and Recommendations for Action in Austria

In Austria, planning permission applications are submitted and managed largely manually. The aims of the project are to evaluate the potential and limitations of digitizing building approval processes and to create a Vision 2030 strategy for a digital building authority.

Short Description

Digitalisation in public administration has been an omnipresent topic in recent years. Processes should be handled in a user-friendly, efficient and transparent manner. Digitalisation is intended to make communication between the authorities and external communication swift and simple. In coordination with the E-Government Vision, the federal government has already created various legal foundations and enables many applications and official channels to be processed online. The federal states are also implementing various initiatives in their areas of responsibility. As a rule, the municipal building authority is responsible for building control and there are also various efforts to promote digitisation in here. However, the implementation shows a strong fragmentation, which can be attributed not least to the very heterogeneous size of the municipality and the associated different financial and human resources. Essential aspects of construction processes, such as the submission, review of projects, communication with affected parties or conduction of on-site negotiations, therefore currently show a low degree of digitisation. In addition to the lack of a legal framework, there is currently also no vision or strategy for the digitisation of building procedures in Austria and thus no agreed approach.

The overall goal of the project is therefore to evaluate the possibilities and limits of digitising processes in building authorities. Aspects of building control and procedures are, so to speak, digitally thought through and, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, a vision for the digital building authority including recommendations for action is formulated. In detail, the project starts with an analysis of the processes, actors and existing digitisation measures in Austria and internationally. In a next step, the analysis results for recording the status quo are assessed and innovation potential, its drivers and inhibiting factors identified. The vision is developed based on the analysis. The project is based on a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement process in which cities, communities, chambers, etc. are involved in several phases of the project using online elements and a joint workshop.

The project shows very clearly how many different and comparatively simple measures can already be taken by communities for digitisation. At the same time, it also becomes apparent that the federal organization is a certain obstacle. A national platform, as envisaged in Scandinavian countries, does not appear realistic and the greatest potential is seen in a coordinated approach between municipalities - with their representations - and the respective federal states. This leads to the following priority recommendations:

  • Solving the dilemma that municipalities are consumers and that legislation is at the state level, by establishing working groups for digitization and developing a roadmap in each state. Bundle existing initiatives and involve key players in implementation.
  • Create the legal basis for electronic submission, administration and electronic completion of building applications. The procedural provisions can be checked for simplification and adjusted at this point.
  • Train and prepare public authorities for digitalisation.
  • Use Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a first step for efficient life cycle management and a preliminary check of submissions.

Project Partners

Project management

IDC Central Europe GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Spatial Planning

Contact Address

IDC Central Europe GmbH
Julia Neuschmid
Kärntner Ring 5-7
A-1010 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 205 1160 1063