Repair & Do-It-Yourself Urbanism (R&DIY-U)

The project follows the aim to analyze and to strengthen the transformative potential of Repair & Do-It-Yourself Urbanism with regard to a fundamental change of the existing poor sustainable handling of commodities in selected urban districts, their infrastructures and dominant business and private household practices into resilient areas.

Short Description




Starting point / motivation

In Vienna – as in other cities in Europe – tons of electrical appliances, furniture, textiles, toys and other everyday items are thrown away even though they could frequently still have been used further had they been repaired, maintained or shared. The resulting large quantities of energy and resource intensive garbage are the result not only of production and usage practices in the spheres of economy and of politics or lifestyle and milieu specific consumption practices in the public sphere or in the sphere of private life, but also of the virtual absence of corresponding urban infrastructures. At the same time, a rise in sharing projects, recycling measures, DIY activities and repair initiatives – subsumed in research under the label repair & do-it-yourself-(R&DIY-) urbanism – can also be observed in many cities. Even if such – and other – initiatives and practices are not established in these cities on a broad scale, R&DIY urbanism is nonetheless attributed enormous potential when it comes to transforming non-sustainable urban areas and their infrastructures and dominant business and private household practices into resilient areas – even if such claims are not yet based on validated knowledge.

Contents and Objectives

The project takes up these observations in the repair and DIY sectors and makes a significant contribution to the development, planning and realization of current and future activities, services and infrastructure measures which can be integrated into Smart City developments. The focus thereby lies on selected districts in Vienna where small networks of relevant commercial, civil society and intermediary R&DIY-U activists have already formed, yet whose potential with regard to the development of resilient urban districts has by no means been exhausted.


With a transdisciplinary R&D consortium that comprises a fundamental and applied research group, an intermediary organization as well as commercial and non-profit R&DIY-urbanism practitioners, the project incorporates multiple perspectives and R&DIY-urbanism practices. By combining international good practice examples, field analysis in the specific districts as well as the development, carrying out and monitoring of R&DIY-urbanism experiments, the transformative potentials of the R&DIY-urbanism in the districts under study are analyzed and policy recommendations to promote the development of the R&DIY-urbanism as well as comprehensive infrastructures of maintenance and care are worked out and district specific development scenarios are designed.


Central results are – beneath a set of real experiments and the online version of an experiment development tool – especially the elaborations of the transformative potentials of the Viennese districts Neubau and Ottakring, the analysis and elaboration of policy recommendations as well as the composition of development scenarios. The results make it clear that a broad and comprehensive advancement and promotion of commercial and non-commercial R&DIY-urbanism phenomena can produce a significant contribution in the development of resilient cities and city districts.

Prospects/Suggestions for future research

On the basis of the R&DIY-U project results stakeholders from politics and administration, but also from the private sector, from intermediary organizations and from civil society initiatives can develop practice related strategies to realize promising measures and projects in terms of a resilient city (as well as community) development.

Project Partners

Project management

Institut für Höhere Studien (Wien)

Project or cooperation partners

  • Die Wiener Volkshochschulen GmbH – "die umweltberatung" Wien
  • HausGeräteProfi Ges.m.b.H.
  • Recycling- Kosmos Ottakringer Straße (e.V.)
  • Wiener Hilfswerk
  • Sit-In e.U.

Contact Address

PD Dr. Michael Jonas
IHS, Josefstädterstraße 39
A-1080 Wien
Tel./Fax: +43 (1) 599 91-212/-555