The present diploma thesis examines the future potential of a new creative quarter for the city of Vienna, with a colourful mixture of work, living, production, education, gastronomy, leisure, art and culture. For this purpose, a concrete development model for the area of the Vienna Westbahnhof will provide possibilities for a mix of uses through pioneer uses and a dynamic planning process.
Two concrete development scenarios for the Westbahn-Areal are developed. One scenario is based on existing projects and their findings, and the other choses more experimental, even utopian approaches, such as ignoring the fundamentals of planning law and the profitability of real estate. Subsequently, the spatial scenarios are evaluated on urban, architectural, ecological, social and economic levels. The crucial question is whether a district, which serves as an experimental field for urban diversity, can provide the urgently needed answers for new forms of coexistence in the 21st century.
The creative industries are an essential economic factor and a driver of new things. Creative uses perform pioneering work and can play a key role in activating brownfield sites and developing hybrid urban districts. The demand for affordable, flexible and collaborative creative spaces in Vienna’s growing creative economy is increasing. The independent art and cultural scene in Vienna is confronted with a massive demand for space. The desire is to position Vienna as a “Creative City” in international competition and recognise the specific potential of the Westbahn-Areal federal property.
The development of a prototypical district with a special mix of uses and space for experimentation that takes into account the problems and needs of the city as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods is an “investment in the future”. With an area of about 20 hectares, the site of the Vienna Westbahnhof offers a sufficiently large field for experimentation. A clear location profile as a “creative district” could establish itself over time. The existing resources and the special atmosphere of the site could make a significant contribution to this. The significance of the train station is used narratively to promote identification and acceptance in the neighbourhood.
A vision of the contemporary city is common in the various urban development scenarios, the framework and development instruments, and the mixture of uses through the joint use of spaces. The degree of radicalism in terms of track withdrawal, urban design, the time horizon of open development, role of the city, legitimation of the transformation process (economic vs. social value creation), allocation of land, handling of existing buildings and pioneer uses, varies greatly in the two different scenarios. The development model of the “time-focused city” revolves around the factors of time and movement, around people sharing and using spaces, around a place of publicness and coming together, where new forms of cooperation and coexistence are possible.
The laboratory character is crucial for the newly emerging neighbourhood. If a new neighbourhood is to grow naturally, then pioneering users need spaces in which possible uses can be tested. However, this requires that existing paradigms and working methods from the real estate industry must be replaced with flexible processes. The urban quarter is created in stages, is constantly changing, and is created step by step through the interaction of many people. The openness attracts people, companies and initiatives with ideas. An error-friendly approach that allows for readjustments is essential.