The project researches possibilities and potentials of highly efficient use of space through modern concepts of "stacked" functions and vertical production.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Functionally mixed areas of living and working make a significant contribution to the energy-efficient urban development and the achievement of ambitious smart city targets. However, urban commercial properties are scarce in many places and are not affordable for manufacturing companies with correspondingly large space requirements. In addition, there is a great pressure to develop new sites for residential construction. The share of space of manufacturing enterprises in Vienna has declined by 16.5 % since 2001, of industrial areas by even 30 %. In light of the increasing scarcity of space and the drastic loss of businesses and thus jobs in cities, urgent measures are necessary against the spatial segregation of living and work places. The consequences of this spatial decoupling are not only counteracting energy-saving planning goals, but also potential synergies can not be exploited sustainably (for example, energy / waste heat utilization, circulation and cascade management, urban added value, microeconomic local networks).

Only few alternative concepts exist that can draw manufacturing enterprises back into cities. While the transformation of industrial production – subsumed under the term "Industry 4.0" – initiates the return of urban industry in small-scaled, mixed districts, there are also substantial barriers. .

Contents and goals

In VERTICALurbanFACTORY, modern concepts of "stacked" functions and urban vertical production are explored in a new way, and the legal consideration is linked to an urban planning and planning-and-transport-political consideration. The project goes beyond pure mixed use between living, office / service, trade, craft or small businesses and focuses on possibilities of producing companies with corresponding space requirements or special infrastructural requirements, f. e. transport. The problem of space-saving is solved by multi-level construction and vertical production. The vertical production promotes the building density and thus also an efficient and city-compatible design of logistics systems and intelligent transport and traffic concepts. The focus of the legal investigation is the question of which instruments or legal requirements promote mixed use and (vertical) production in the city, which interests of the resident population protects the legal system and how the balance between the interests of producing companies and those of the neighbors of Business is done.


Based on results from basic scientific research, case studies, best practice examples and numerous discussions with companies, innovative, city-compatible and vertically organized building typologies, transport logistics concepts and legal aspects of urban production were developed. The urban context for the developed model concepts are the spatial, legal and traffic structural conditions of the city of Vienna and the objectives of the STEP 2025 (urban development plan 2025). In the form of five modular model types, which reflect various requirements and features and are optimally adapted to different city typologies, the concepts are presented in a logical and textual way. These are specified with regard to key decision and influencing factors (f. e. urban integration, mixed use, legal framework, traffic and logistics).


The results are documented in two comprehensive content reports. Part 1 highlights essential aspects and characteristics of a "productive city". Part 2 of the final report introduces in-depth case studies of industrial sites in Vienna. As a result, five modularly developed innovative model types of "vertical urban production" are presented. These model types are also published in the form of a small booklet.

The model types show that the multi-storey construction is indeed a viable alternative for limited land resources and urban production. Depending on the type of area, building form or infrastructural conditions, very different space-saving concepts are possible, which can be adapted to company-specific requirements. The compact design and organization of production processes in a multi-storey building is not only possible depending on the type of production from an economic point of view, but also in many cases more cost-effective to implement. However, the central starting point for the construction method is clearly the specific requirements of the respective companies.

Moreover, the analysis of the model types shows that the integrated single site best meets the transport policy objectives in terms of traffic influencing factors. Although there are restrictions for motorized private transport (f. e. number of parking spaces) and higher costs due to logistics, these production locations are characterized by good accessibility by public transport. In contrast, the greatest potential for immediate verticalization lies in commercial mixed areas, which are to be integrated in the course of urban densification and urban areas with mixed uses.

Based on the potential of a mixed-use structure, numerous (legal) approaches and influencing factors for controlling the intermixing of work and housing were analyzed. The relevant legal provisions range from financial issues (f. e. commuter allowance) to strategic planning, such as thematic concepts, and legally binding determinations in the land use plan to review obligations and immission thresholds. The challenges lie above all in reconciling the interests of living and working. This shows that - as a result of the federal distribution of competencies - parallel approval procedures (f. e. building permits and industrial property permit procedures) result; Approaches for their coordination as well as for overcoming duplication are available (f. e. common procedure). It also shows that in this field of tensions, especially between neighbors and businesses, cannot or cannot be fully resolved on the basis of the applicable law.

The topic of "waste heat utilization" plays a key role in the planning of plus energy quarters. There is still great potential here for research and development work as well as the concrete application of already mature technologies under changed framework conditions, in the form of demonstration projects.

Project Partners

Project management

URBANITY – Architecture, art, culture and literature
Edeltraud Haselsteiner
Project collaborators: Katja Schwaigerlehner, Josef Haselsteiner

Project or cooperation partner

  • TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology), Institute of Transportation, Research Center of Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering, Harald Frey, Barbara Laa, Manuela Winder
  • WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) - Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance, Verena Madner, Lisa-Maria Grob, LL.M

Contact Address

Edeltraud Haselsteiner, URBANITY
Märzstrasse 158/20
A-1140 Wien
Tel.: +43 (699) 126 980 82