Aspern - Vienna′s Urban Lakeside

From the 18th until the 22nd of May 2015 the Smart Grids week took place in Vienna. INCREASE was presented there with a poster paper. On May 21st an excursion to Aspern – Vienna’s Urban Lakeside was organized. During the excursion the main concepts of Aspern were presented.

Vienna‘s Urban Lakeside (Aspern – die Seestadt Wiens) is located 20 km east of Vienna. With an area of 240 hectares, equivalent to 340 football pitches, a complete new “Smart City” will be developed in several phases over the next 20 years. It will accommodate some 20,000 people in a high-quality living environment for about the same number of workplaces.

The Aspern campus offers ideal conditions to demonstrate and investigate new technologies and methods of optimized energy distribution together with load management. Balancing of supply and demand is only possible by connecting buildings and low voltage networks via smart information and communications technology. Electricity generation can already be controlled quite easily by large-scale power stations, however, this flexibility is declining, since renewable energy sources continue to increase within the network. If renewable energy would account for a significant part of power, this balance can only be achieved by adapting energy consumption to supply. This can be managed by first identifying user behaviour depending on room temperature and other key data.

Buildings in Aspern are equipped with the necessary smart power meters and probes for the acquisition of the relevant data. The data are collected anonymously and the households participating in this survey explicitly agree that their data may be used for research purposes. Based on information about energy saving options as well as incentives and dynamic tariff models, users will be guided towards more energy efficient behaviour in the future. Smartphones or tablets are used to inform residents about the instantaneous energy costs thereby indicating the optimal time e. g. to recharge an e-bike or electric car.

In the Aspern project, researchers have the opportunity to find out which system solutions might be accepted. The most important questions are, among others, the extent to which financial incentives actually work and to what extent control and communication interfaces (apps, email services, internet portals) are used.

The new district has an extensive public transport network with links to regional and international transport services by underground, tram, and bus. The aim is to avoid the use of the personal car, neither for business nor for leisure activities. In the city itself, vehicle traffic is highly restricted. On the street, traffic lanes for bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, and also rubber coated lanes for runners as well as charging stations for e-cars and e-bikes have been installed.

The buildings of the Urban Lakeside are built to low energy-use standards. With innovative architecture, they boast intelligent and sustainable energy concepts. Every single flat has a balcony, a patio or loggia providing each resident with their own private outdoor space. Communal areas, including swimming pools, and carefully planned meeting places in the different neighbourhoods facilitate contact and interaction. A lot of buildings have already received awards from the Austrian Sustainable Building Council.

More information about this prestigious project is available on this website: