MUFUWU Stadtbaum - Development, evaluation of multifunctional urban tree habitat in existing streets. Root zone, retention, microclimate

Applied research and development of a construction concept for road construction that enables the establishment of large-crowned urban trees and is tailored to specific local requirements, such as metrological, geological, and climatic conditions. The results are taken as a basis for a standard construction concept for densely built urban areas.

Short Description



Starting point / motivation

There is no multifunctional construction concept for road construction available in Austria that takes the various current requirements of urban trees and of rain water management in account, especially those in densely built-up areas. While a number of European countries have developed and adapted such concepts over the past decades already, Austria lacks comprehensive local concepts.

The main questions in this context center on the subbase of paved surfaces, its grade of permeability as well as the temporary retention of rain water.

Except for one pilot in Graz, a few solitary pre-projects, and plans for a project at a newly constructed site in Aspern Seestadt in Vienna in 2021, there are no experiences and no empirical value beyond experiment stage.

This gap is caused by the fact, that all components and technical solutions that have been developed up to now are directly based on the "Stockholm system". In order to provide suitable solutions for the local metrological, geological, and climatic conditions, applied research and development is critical.

For instance, the especially high numbers of transitions between frost and thaw in Austria influence the behavior of the fluviatile planting soil / charcoal macadam. The need for rapidly realizable, measureable, and effective solutions through applied research is especially pressing in existing densely built-up cities.

Contents and goals

  • Development of regional substrate: One first goal is the development of innovative solutions for stabile and approved subbase substrates.
  • Substrate Development Monitoring: Development and practicability of suitable silt and clay substrates for immediate tree habitat. Development of solutions for specific local requirements.


The installation of a monitoring system (data logger / measuring probes). Allows the continuous measurement of moisture and matric potential in the substrates as well as the measuring of the salinity. Suction cups allow the monitoring of substances dissolved in the soil water. So drought effects over longer periods can be evaluated.

Expected results

Quantification and qualification of effects on climate and retention. The effect of vital, large-crowned urban trees is important for reaching the superordinate goal of climate adaption of street space in densly built-up areas. The maturity of a tree and size of its crown are essential for the fulfilment of its functions, such as 

  • shadow, 
  • evapotranspiration, 
  • cooling, 
  • filtering,...

Establishment as standard construction concept. Climate resilient cities need urban trees. The current situation in road construction in Austria negates the development of trees in street space.

Therefore, one main goal of the project is the development of a solution that is transferred into the local corpus of legislation.

Project Partners

Project management

3:0 Landschaftsarchitektur, corporate partner

Project or cooperation partners

Verein Land schafft Wasser, scientific partner

Contact Address

3:0 Landschaftsarchitektur
Nestroyplatz 1/1
A-1020 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 969 06 62
Fax: +43 (1) 969 06 64