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 if they had 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 business sector or lifestyle and milieu specific consumption practices in the private sector, but also of the virtual absence of corresponding urban infrastructures.

At the same time, a rise in sharing projects, recycling measures, do-it-yourself (DIY) activities and repair initiatives – subsumed in research under the label DIY urbanism (revival) – 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, DIY urbanism is nonetheless attributed enormous potential when it comes to transforming less-sustainable urban areas and their infrastructures and dominant business and private household practices into resilient areas where efficient use is made of energy and resources and the quality of life is high – even if such claims are not yet based on validated knowledge.

Contents and goals

The project will take up these observations in the repair and DIY sectors and make 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 repair and DIY urbanism (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 (IHS), an intermediary organization ("die Umweltberatung") as well as commercial and non-profit R&DIY-U practitioners (HausGeräteProfi, Sit-In, LORENZI, Recycling Kosmos, Wiener Hilfswerk), the research project incorporates multiple perspectives and R&DIY-U practices.

In the project

  • international good practice examples,
  • field analysis in specific districts,
  • the development,
  • carrying out and monitoring of R&DIY-U experiments,
  • an analysis of the transformative potential of R&DIY-U with regard to the development of resilient urban districts,
  • a stakeholder workshop and, last but not least,
  • scenario development

will be combined.

Expected results

The project aims to deliver a major contribution that both embraces the intentions of the research funding program and has the potential to achieve a radical leap in innovation and contribute on multiple levels to raising the competitiveness of the urban economy.

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