Vienna expands towards Bratislava

Austria's capital is expanding north of the Danube towards Bratislava through the development of a new ultra-modern district on the former aerodrome in Aspern, which will give new stimulus to the "Centrope" region.

The City of Vienna is approving an ultra-modern urban development north of the Danube where Austrian racing legends like Jochen Rindt and Niki Lauda practised decades ago on the abandoned runways of the aerodrome in Aspern, General Motors (GM) has been writing modern automotive history since 1982 and many smaller companies have installed themselves. In the next 20 years a 240 hectare area around the former aerodrome will be converted from an industrial zone into a complete urban district based on state-of-the-art standards.

The master plan has already been drawn up and presented to the press by Executive City Councillor for Urban Development, Traffic and Transport Rudolf Schicker, who is hoping that the area will become a hub for business, research and technology. It is halfway between the city centres of Vienna and Bratislava, reachable in 22 minutes by underground on the extended U2 or in 28 minutes by suburban railway, and is certain to give new stimulus to the "Centrope" region.


Ring road, public transport, artificial lake, geothermal energy
Neu-Aspern will feature ultra-modern architecture and will be the first district of Vienna to have a full public transport infrastructure from the outset. The U2 is to be extended by 2012 by two stations, one in the centre of Aspern and another one on the existing Ostbahn track. This will make it possible to travel via Untersiebenbrunn and Breitensee in Lower Austria to Vienna's twin city Bratislava. At the same time it will enable automotive parts to be transported to and from the automotive industry in and around Bratislava and to the GM plant.

In Aspern a ring road is planned with trams serving the centre north of the GM plant. For recreation a huge four-hectare artificial lake will be built. Geothermal energy will be obtained from two hot springs, which will also provide heat. Contracts with Fernwärme Wien will be signed shortly. One of the springs is around 3 km underground and has a temperature of 120 degrees Celsius. The other is 5 km below ground and is over 200 degrees. Electrical power could also be generated using turbines, but this option is still being studied.

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A total of 8,500 dwellings are to be built on the northern perimeter of Vienna and new companies could create jobs for up to 25,000 people. The investment in the new district by the City of Vienna is being put at around 5 billion euros.

The master plan should be approved this year by the City Council following consideration of comments by the local population. In 2008 a new land utilisation plan will be drawn up. In 2009 the first companies will settle in Neu-Aspern and a year later the first dwellings will be completed. In 2012 the extension of the U2 will be available, but according to Asfinag the extension of the A23, the south-east city bypass, could be delayed until 2015.

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