SUBURBAHN – test- and demonstration-area for urban development and mobility around public transport stations in the central area of Upper Austria

Targeted, process-oriented conception for the implementation and operation of a test- and demonstration-area for urban development and mobility in Ansfelden involving relevant scientific stakeholders, local and regional stakeholders, decision-makers as well as the interested public according to the living lab approach.

Short Description

Starting point /Motivation

The municipality of Ansfelden is located in the district of Linz-Land and borders the city of Linz. Over the next few years, 360 residential units for around 1,000 residents will be built near the city centre in the Haid district, not far from the Ansfelden railway station and the planned StadtRegioTram stops. The research project is integrated into this urban development process. It identifies processes, structures and required tools and uses the scope and need for action in the area around Haid's main square. Together with the new transport infrastructure (StadtRegioTram), the concept for a test and demonstration area offers a concrete initiative for dealing with innovative building, technology and mobility solutions in this context.

Contents and objectives

The structuring of the test and demonstration area includes:

  • To analyze, reflect and evaluate in depth the framework conditions of the test and demonstration area at different scale levels.
  • To initiate processes for the development of a common level of knowledge, a coordinated vision for the development area and an approach for implementing the measures.
  • To establish a network consisting of representatives from politics and administration, mobility and real estate companies, researchers and developers, as well as inhabitants.
  • To develop a toolbox of methods tailored to understand human-technology interaction and to establish an ongoing monitoring of activities.

The conception of the test and demonstration area in Ansfelden pursued the following objectives:

  • Testing, trying out and demonstrating innovative (mobility) solutions and technologies in people's everyday life.
  • Discussing, formulating and visualizing visions and goals together and exchanging knowledge through continuous learning together.
  • Research, business and users are networked to develop new ideas and discuss the improvement and implementation of products.
  • Promoting innovation.


The Living Lab instrument was chosen as the central research approach. The instrument was originally developed to incorporate the everyday practice, needs and ideas of users into the development of products and solutions. Based on the Living Lab approach, a test and demonstration area for the urban development area in Ansfelden is conceptualized in the following steps:

  • Capturing the framework conditions for the future structures of the test and demonstration area.
  • Use of different participation methods to establish a stakeholder network for the Living Lab.
  • Formulation of vision, goals and thematic orientation for the development area by the stakeholder network through visioneering.
  • Development of a tool set that includes a tailor-made technology and innovation portfolio for the development area in Ansfelden. Exemplary application scenarios were formulated for the projects and innovations.
  • Projects in the test and demonstration area are selected and prepared in cooperation with co-designers. The results are then gradually channeled into the roadmap, the development plan for the suburban test and demonstration area in Ansfelden.

The methods used for the conception of the HaidLab are suitable for application in other comparable (suburban) areas in Austria. SUBURBAHN is aimed to be a pioneer project for the development of areas surrounding train stations, in particular for the Upper Austrian central area, integrating innovations and technologies.


  • Participation processes were professionally designed and stakeholders successfully integrated.
  • A "big picture" (vision, goals and thematic orientation) for the development area from different perspectives has been created step by step.
  • Appropriate projects were collected in a technology and innovation portfolio and suitable deployment scenarios identified in the development area.

Future processes, structures and tools for the operation of the test and demonstration area in Ansfelden were summarized in a roadmap (development concept) together with the stakeholders.


The operation of the test and demonstration area as a HaidLab, which supports innovations for overcoming the central challenges in the context of urban development and mobility in Haid, is aspired. Trust, commitment and acceptance among the actors, as well as the availability of the necessary personnel and financial resources, play a decisive role for a successful implementation.

Project Partners

Project management

stadtland DI Sibylla Zech GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • Technische Universität Wien, Department für Raumplanung, Fachbereich Verkehrssystemplanung
  • Technische Universität Wien, Institut für Architektur und Entwerfen, Arbeitsgruppe für Nachhaltiges Bauen
  • Technische Universität Wien, Institut für Gestaltungs- und Wirkungsforschung

Contact Address

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Sibylla Zech
Kirchengasse 19/12
A-1070 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 236 1912
Fax: +43 (1) 236 1912 - 90